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Polish parliament shuns religious animal slaughter

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July 12, 2013 08:52 AM EST | AP


WARSAW, Poland — 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.

Until January, Poland was making good business exporting kosher and halal meat to Israel and Muslim countries, but religious slaughter was banned under pressure from animals' rights groups, which say it causes unnecessary suffering because the livestock aren't stunned before being killed.

The government argues the ban means a loss of money and 6,000 jobs at a time when around 13 percent of Poles are unemployed.

The Conference of European Rabbis condemned the vote, calling it a sad day for Polish and European Jews.