One of the most prominent Jewish figures within UKIP has condemned the party’s new policy against religious slaughter as “wrong” and vowed to work to overturn it.
The party’s national executive committee voted on Monday to outlaw slaughter without pre-stunning, despite previous statements of support for the practises of Jews and Muslims by senior party figures.
Shneur Odze, the head of UKIP Friends of Israel and a candidate in last year’s European elections, told the Jewish News he was “surprised and disappointed” by the move.
While he said he keeps his membership under “constant review”, Odze plans to remain in the party to work with colleagues to reverse the decision. “It’s important we have people on the inside arguing our case. It’s imperative not to to apply pressure but to put the case to the NEC to get them to reverse. There’s every chance they could.”
He also argued that Jewish supporters of other parties also “have to consider how comfortable they are” with their ranks – highlighting Labour’s recent moves on Israel and what he described “left-wing educational indoctrination”.
Odze added: “I’ve not spoken to Nigel about this but I don’t imagine for a second he supports this. I’ve fielded calls from many in the party, at all levels, that are keen to see this reversed.”
Keith Fraser, UKIP’s prospective parliamentary candidate for Hackney North & Stoke Newington, said: “The policy is clearly made in response to BVA findings that stunning is more humane, which most people would resonate with, seeing that Britain is a nation of animal lovers. However, as a Jew and one who observes Kashrut, I will certainly be lobbying the reversal of this policy.”