On 1st August 2011, the Orthodox Union (Union of Orthodox Jewish Congregations of America), the nation’s largest Orthodox Jewish umbrella organization commended a Washington State appellate court for its decision to uphold Washington’s Humane Slaughter Law, permitting kosher and halal slaughtering of animals.
The state law defines either the stunning of animals, or religious ritual slaughter to be humane. Pasado’s Safe Haven, an animal rescue group sought to have provisions in the law deemed unconstitutional. In the course of dismissing the lawsuit, the court concluded that if ritual slaughter were considered unconstitutional, the court would need to invalidate the entire statute because the legislature placed the religious protections provisions as integral elements of the statute.
Nathan Diament national director of public policy for the Orthodox Union said:
We appreciate the Washington State court’s ruling. Kosher slaughter has been targeted by various fringe activists, but it is a necessary component of our community’s religious life. We appreciate that elected officials, such as those in the Washington legislature, recognize the humane nature of shechita, and ensure its protection and thereby the flourishing of Orthodox Jewish life.