German nurseries cancel plan to remove pork from menu after backlash

24.07.2019

Two neighbouring nurseries in the eastern German city of Leipzig have backtracked on their decision earlier Tuesday to remove pork from the children's lunch menu after a fierce debate ignited online.

The head of both nurseries, Wolfgang Schaefer, said he had decided to reverse the decision – at least for now. The management plans to hold a series of discussions on the matter with parents in mid-August, he told dpa. Police were deployed to protect the facilities earlier in the day, while Schweinefleisch, the German word for pork, became the top trending hashtag on Twitter in Germany on Tuesday. "We're overwhelmed by the whole thing," Schaefer said.

Local newspaper the Leipziger Volksstimme quoted an employee of one of the day-care facilities as saying that they had received threats in the wake of the decision from people opposed to changing the rules for Muslims. About two weeks ago, parents received a letter from the nurseries' management saying that "out of respect for a changing world, only pork-free food and snacks will be ordered and given out starting July 15."

Not all parents were opposed to the move, however. A 37-year-old father of a boy who attends the nursery said: "In principle, we approve of this decision - you won't be able to keep my son away from sausages, but he will just have to have them at home."

The conservative CDU's Saxony branch waded into the debate, saying on Twitter that "The ban on pork at two day-care centres in Leipzig is unacceptable. Of course nobody should be forced against their will to eat something. But a ban is the wrong approach."

A lawmaker for the fight-right AfD party, Beatrix von Storch, spoke of "cultural subjugation," noting that 300 children in both facilities would now have to change their diets and customs to appease two Muslim children. "Just imagine if German children in Riyadh were to demand their right to fried pork sausages and force the majority of society to change their diets," she said. (dpa) -

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