Today the NIK – Organisation of Jewish Communities in The Netherlands signed a historic covenant with the Dutch government to ensure the continued and undisturbed execution of Shechita, the Jewish method of slaughtering.
The NIK is the sole executor of Shechita in The Netherlands, and the only Jewish body in the country which is permitted to perform Shechita.
The signing of this covenant ends a process that can be described as a long battle, intense fighting for human rights, and for many within the Jewish community it has also been determined emotionally.
Besides the NIK the covenant is being signed by the under minister for Agriculture, Dr Henk Bleker, representatives of the Muslim community and of the slaughter industry.
NIK-President Mr Jacob Hartog: “We have always fought against the perception that the Jewish community did not care about animal welfare. This agreement is further proof that this criticism on the part of the authors of the bill that demanded a stop to Shechita violates the truth.”
Almost a year ago, on June 16, 2011, did the NIK offer to set up a voluntary agreement. The under minister has picked up this invitation and on December, 13, 2011 in the Senate announced – also on his part – that he intended to set up a covenant.
The agreement now established, attempts to ensure that a balance is created between the continuation of the slaughter according to religious rites, based on the traditionally strongly in Dutch society rooted freedom of religion, and conditions for the treatment of the animal before and during slaughter.
NIK Secretary-General Ruben Vis: “We are convinced that our method which is based on religious foundation can continue with this agreement in good harmony with a Dutch government which accommodates the performance of religious rites, which the Jews since their arrival in the Netherlands now about 400 years ago, have always executed freely.”
Mr Hartog: “With this covenant the support for the slaughter according to religious rites, is to be considered as restored.”