A state within Austria is considering plans to make Jews and Muslims register before they can buy kosher and halal meat, sparking a huge backlash and prompting comparisons to Nazi laws.
The proposal, which were put forward in Lower Austria, was defended by Gottfried Waldhäusl, the state’s environment minister, who said he wanted to curb animal slaughter without the use of stunning.
The right-wing politician said it was necessary “from an animal welfare point of view”.
However the Austrian ambassador to Israel, Martin Weiss, said in a tweet that the story had “given rise to great concerns” among Jewish and Muslim communities in Austria.
Oskar Deutsch, president of the Jewish Community in Vienna, said the plan would mean compiling lists of Jews, which he said would be “like a negative Aryan clause,” in a reference to the racist laws passed by Nazi Germany and implemented in Austria in 1938.
The American Jewish Committee’s Berlin office also referenced Nazi decrees in a tweet about the proposal, which said: “Soon with a star on the chest?”
“This is an attack on Jewish and Muslim life! #Anti-Semitism,” the group also said the tweet.
Under Jewish and Muslim rules, animals need to be conscious when their throats are cut for the meat to be kosher or halal, respectively.
Some right-wing parties in Europe have campaigned to have this type of slaughter banned, saying the slaughtering of animals without stunning them first is cruel.