Ardanowski announced the latest initiative during an official visit to Głogów, in the country’s western region, according to local media.
Last November, a group of lawmakers from the parliament’s lower chamber, the Sejm, representing Poland’s ruling Law and Justice (PiS) party, introduced a draft bill to ban non-stun slaughter.
Non-stun slaughter was previously banned in Poland between 2013 and 2014, but a ruling issued by the country’s Constitutional Tribunal on 10 December 2014 cancelled the ban on the grounds that the measure violated the freedom of religion and conscience.
Industry opposes ban
The legislative proposal had been protested by a number of poultry meat industry associations, which said the ban would hamper Poland’s meat exports, in particular to various countries from the Middle East, but also to selected foreign markets in Europe.
Some of the leading entities that opposed the ban include the Warsaw-based National Poultry Council – Chamber of Commerce (KRD-IG) association. Its representatives took part in this year’s Gulfood annual food trade show in Dubai, held between 18 and 22 February, to promote Polish halal meat in the Middle East.
The KRD-IG said its members accounted for about 70% of Poland's poultry meat production, and some 80% of the country’s poultry meat processing activities. The association represented the interests of more than 80 entities, according to data from the KRD-IG.
Prospective Middle Eastern markets
“The meetings that we held during this year’s Gulfood strengthened our belief that markets such as the UAE are important and prospective [export destinations] for the Polish poultry meat sector,” said Łukasz Dominiak, general director of the KRD-IG, as quoted in a statement. “The possibility of limiting [non-stun] slaughter that has been considered by the Polish authorities could deprive [Polish poultry meat producers] access to them, and our place could be taken by Brazilian, US or French [meat producers], which are already very strong in this region.”
The association said that, in addition to the UAE, Saudi Arabia and Iran were key Middle Eastern markets for Poland’s poultry meat producers.
Other industry associations that protested against the measure included the Polish Chamber of Poultry Meat and Feed Producers (KIPDiP).