Polish parliament's lower house has voted to reject a government plan to reinstate the religious slaughter of animals. Lawmakers rejected the divisive issue in a 222-178 vote Friday as 38 members of the ruling Civic Platform party joined the opposition to vote against it.
"Populism, superstition and political interests won out," said Piotr Kadlcik, who heads the Union of Jewish Communities of Poland. "It looks like we've made a full circle and are heading back to what happened in Poland and Germany in the 1930s."
"Jewish communities across Europe will be incredibly distressed that the Polish parliament has voted not to protect the religious freedom of its Jewish and Muslim citizens," said Chief Rabbi Pinchas Goldschmidt, the head of the Conference of European Rabbis.
Usually, slaughterhouses stun livestock before killing them, while kosher rites demand an animal is killed by slitting its throat while it is alive and allowing it to bleed to death.
The halal meat consumed by observant Muslims is killed the same way.
The government had hoped the proposed law would allow Polish abattoirs to resume production of kosher meat, which was forced to stop last year by the constitutional court.