Poland's Muslim community on Tuesday said a controversial nationwide ban on halal and kosher slaughter, which has spurred intense debate at home and abroad, was invalid under European law.

The EU directive "applies in Poland and in this case it supersedes national law," Poland's top Muslim leader, Mufti Tomasz Miskiewicz, said, quoting an expert legal analysis commissioned by the Muslim community and the meat industry.

Animal rights activists have hailed the ban, but Jewish and Muslim leaders in overwhelmingly Catholic Poland argue that it violates their religious freedom and Israel has called it "unacceptable".

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