Recently when I spoke to my mother (who’s in New Zealand) she mentioned that she had two chickens left in the freezer which she was saving for Rosh Hashanah as she wasn’t sure whether there would be any more kosher meat available in the country by then.
Well the good news is that after the New Zealand Jewish Community launched legal proceedings against the Minister of Agriculture, the local court approved an interim agreement which would allow shechita until the case goes to trial.
Here is the official announcement from the shul in Wellington:
As we informed the community last week, we filed legal proceedings against the Minister of Agriculture, seeking a restoration of the right to practise shechita in New Zealand.
We are pleased to report that an interim agreement has now been reached with the Minister, which will enable the continued practice of shechita in the period up to trial (which is likely to take place during 2011).
Court orders were made by consent in the Wellington High Court this morning, giving legal effect to that agreement. Every effort is being made to get chicken and local lamb "back on the table" as soon as possible.
The community would like to acknowledge the tremendous contribution the legal team at Russell McVeagh have made in putting together our case to achieve this positive outcome in such a short period.
Chair, Board of Directors
So the good news is that if you’re in New Zealand for Yom Tov, there should be kosher meat available.
Hopefully the new Rabbi will be settled in Wellington by then.
Lets just hope that when the Shechita issue does get to trial in 2011, the court backs the basic right of the Jewish Community to eat meat in accordance with our religious requirements.
(If anyone wants to contribute to the court costs, details are available in this Facebook group)