After initial review of Bill 54 – An Act to Improve the Legal Situation of Animals, Rabbi Reuben Poupko, Co-Chair of the Canadian Rabbinic Caucus, a member of the executive committee of the Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs-Québec (CIJA-Québec), spiritual leader of Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation and a resident of District 2 in Côte Saint-Luc,issued the following statement:
“We commend the government’s efforts to advance animal welfare in Quebec. Animal welfare is strongly valued by the Jewish community; Judaism strictly prohibits gratuitous cruelty to animals. This is why Jewish ritual slaughter, or shechita, is as quick and painless as humanly possible. Indeed, in its presentation yesterday to the National Assembly Committee studying the Bill, the Animal Legal Defense Fund acknowledged that properly performed ritual slaughter is humane and does not cause undue cruelty to animals.
“CIJA-Québec will submit a brief to the Committee to ensure legislators hear the perspective of the organized Jewish community. Our submission will demonstrate that shechita conforms entirely to the objectives of Bill 54.”
The Centre for Israel and Jewish Affairs (CIJA) is the advocacy agent of the Jewish Federations of Canada-UIA. CIJA is a national, non-partisan, non-profit organization dedicated to improving the quality of Jewish life in Canada by advancing the public policy interests of Canada’s organized Jewish community.
As the city councillor in Côte Saint-Luc responsible for Animal Protection, I could not be happier to see leaders like Rabbi Poupko looking out for the rights of animals. Now if I only I can convince him to adopt a cat!