U.S. Markets close in 17 mins

Polish parliament shuns religious animal slaughter

Protesters shout slogans in front of the Polish parliament Thursday July 11, 2013 against a governmental effort to reinstate ritual slaughter of animals for export to Israel and Muslim countries, which is a source of good business for Poland and its farmers. Ritual slaughter was banned last year under pressure from animal rights groups who argue that it entails unnecessary suffering to animals which are not stunned before death. The lawmakers are to vote Friday on a government draft law setting strict conditions for ritual slaughter . The poster on the right reads: This horror must end. (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz)

WARSAW, Poland (AP) -- 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.