Jewish organizations are suing the Canadian government over new kosher slaughter rules they warn could destroy the industry

Kosher meat
How much longer will kosher beef products still be made from high quality Canadian beef? A dispute between the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and the kosher industry in Canada has now reached the Federal Court. (Ellin Bessner photo)

Canada’s main kosher supervision agencies, the Kashruth Council of Canada (COR) and the Jewish Community Council in Montreal, which runs the MK brand, do not believe Canada wants to ban kosher slaughter. But they say new regulations to reduce animal suffering will have the same impact and put the nation’s entire domestic kosher meat industry “very much at risk”.

COR and the JCC and two of the country’s largest kosher meat producers—Shefa and Mehadrin—are launching a legal challenge to the country’s new slaughter regulations, which were introduced in 2019 but have only begun to be enforced since 2023.

Under the regulations, animals must be first stunned with a bolt to the brain, which is not permitted under Jewish law. Alternative methods are also being allowed, such as stunning after the neck is cut, which is still a no, or giving the animals more time to die—but will cost meat processors too much money to make it profitable much longer, the plaintiffs argue.

The collective of Jewish organizations filed for a judicial review on March 8, 2024, in the Federal Court of Canada. They’re arguing that kosher slaughter is already humane—and say they have the science to prove it.

On today’s episode of The CJN Daily, we hear the backstory from Richard Rabkin, managing director of COR, and Rabbi Saul Emanuel, the executive director of the Jewish Community Council of Montreal.

What we talked about

  • Learn more about the history of similar threats to kosher meat production in Canada, in The CJN archives


The CJN Daily is written and hosted by Ellin Bessner (@ebessner on Twitter). Zachary Kauffman is the producer. Michael Fraiman is the executive producer. Our theme music is by Dov Beck-Levine. Our title sponsor is Metropia. We’re a member of The CJN Podcast Network. To subscribe to this podcast, please watch this video. Donate to The CJN and receive a charitable tax receipt by clicking here. Hear why The CJN is important to me.