WJC: Pope getting involved in Poland kosher law

VATICAN CITY (AP) — The World Jewish Congress says the Vatican is getting involved in a divisive issue in Poland over its ban on the religious slaughter of animals, which has incensed Jews.

The group said Monday that Pope Francis instructed the Vatican office in charge of relations with Jews to host a meeting next week to discuss the ban, which Jews consider a violation of their religious freedom.

Poland made about 500 million euros ($650 million) per year exporting kosher and halal meat to Israel and Muslim countries. But the business practically stopped after ritual slaughter was banned in January under pressure from animals’ rights groups, which say it causes unnecessary suffering because livestock aren’t stunned before being killed.

Francis met Monday with a WJC delegation and invited representatives to attend the meeting.

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