Register for buyers of kosher meat

Jews in Lower Austria will in future only be able to buy kosher meat if they can prove their religious affiliation. Austria's animal protection laws are already very strict regarding ritual slaughter. But animal welfare is just being used as a pretext in the debate, commentators criticise.

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Der Standard (AT) /

Fomenting fear and rejection

Under the pretext of animal protection anti-Semitism was also able to thrive back in the 19th century, Der Standard explains:

“Later on, the Nazis were also happy to use this as an argument - and the ban on kosher slaughter is still incorporated in current laws. Politically, this argument can clearly also be used against similar dietary rules in Islam. Naturally the ÖVP knows all this, and naturally local politician Gottfried Waldhäusl knows this too. Backed by a far too rigid federal law that bans kosher slaughter with few exceptions, he is having data collected on those who demand these exceptions. This is fomenting fear on the one side and strengthening prejudice and hostility on the other. It would be better if the kosher slaughter ban were eased. The ÖVP and the FPÖ would have a majority for such a move.”

Die Presse (AT) /

Animal rights activists all of a sudden

Double standards are never far away in the debate over ritual slaughter, Die Press comments:

“It's just like with women's rights. Someone who only the day before laughed out loud over a misogynist joke suddenly discovers his feminist side - when the topic under discussion is the role of women in other cultures or religions. Now it's the same thing with animal rights. People who just the day before were only too happy to buy cheap, factory-farmed cutlets at the supermarket suddenly discover the animal lover deep inside them - because now the topic is ritual slaughter in Judaism and Islam. ... But now that they've discovered the animal rights activist inside them they could just as well ask the same question about conventional slaughter. Oh, but no: all of a sudden animal welfare is no longer so important.”