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New York - Animal Rights Groups Accuse South American Kosher Slaughterhouses Of Inhumane Practices

Published on: November 3, 2016 08:00 PM
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New York - Animal rights activists are protesting shechita methods employed by South American kosher slaughterhouses, charging that animals are killed using an antiquated practice that leaves them suffering and in pain during their final moments.
An undercover investigation by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals and two Israeli organizations,  Anonymous for Animals Rights and Let Animals Live, documented the shechita process at the Frigochaco kosher slaughterhouse in Paraguay, which supplies 40 percent of the kosher beef consumed by Israelis.

Graphic video footage shows cows being subjected to the shackle and hoist method of slaughter, where the animal’s hind legs are chained before it is turned upside down for shechita, its head held in position by a sharp metal tool that resembles a trident.


Shackle and hoist is no longer performed at Israeli slaughterhouses and has been denounced by Israel’s Chief Rabbi a few years ago.  Instead, animals are placed in rotating pens, considered to be a more humane method because it does not require cows to be held in an inverted position by leg chains.

While Israel’s Ministry of Agriculture’s Veterinary Services procedures specify that all imported meats should be subject to the same strict criteria used in Israel, a spokesperson for the department admitted that Israel cannot enforce its standards on other countries. Instead, Veterinary Services is @working to promote slaughter in more humane ways.”

The undercover investigation captured video footage filmed at slaughterhouses in Paraguay, Argentina and Uruguay.

Daphna Nachminovitch, senior vice president at PETA, described the practices taking place at those facilities as “an utter betrayal” of the Jewish laws pertaining to shechita.

“The highly stressful, cruel methods of restraint must be eliminated,” said Nachminovitch.

According to PETA, up to 80 percent of the beef imported to Israel comes from slaughterhouses that use the shackle and hoist method.  Kosher beef killed using shackle and hoist is not permitted to enter the United States.

In a Channel 10 report on Tuesday night, Rabbi David Stav, chairman of the Tzhoar organization, spoke up against animal abuse.

“Animal welfare is a biblical prohibition, which means that even when we use animals, we should do so in a way that causes the minimal possible suffering,” he said. “Anything that goes beyond this may, in certain cases, disqualify kashrut.”

Rabbi Shabtai Rappaport, head of the Beit Midrash at Bar-Ilan University’s Jesselson Institute for Advanced Torah Studies, expressed his concerns with the footage on the Channel 10 broadcast.

“I think the doubts here are significant enough to make rabbis, adjudicators and kashrut supervisors realize that there is a problem,” he said.

In response to the investigation, the Chief Rabbinate condemned the activities documented in the footage but stressed that legal action can only be taken by other government bodies.

“We were horrified to see the shocking abuse of animals,” a statement from the Chief Rabbinate said on Wednesday.

“Animal abuse is a serious offense according to the Torah of Israel.”

“However, in accordance with the law and the ruling of the High Court of Israel, the Chief Rabbinate cannot revoke kashrut in situations where there is no harm to the core issues of kashrut, and therefore, unfortunately, we are precluded from dealing with this matter,” the statement said. “We hope that the authorized bodies will handle this matter with all of their capabilities to prevent the recurrence of further such acts.”

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Read Comments (12)  —  Post Yours »


 Nov 03, 2016 at 08:50 PM abuezri Says:

Most of those shchitas don't look kosher at all.


 Nov 03, 2016 at 09:13 PM concernedjew Says:

just plain cruel. how can this be considered kosher?


 Nov 03, 2016 at 10:09 PM Oh Boy Says:

Here we go again. PETA needs to be disband.


 Nov 03, 2016 at 10:45 PM pinktfarkert Says:

Reply to #2  
concernedjew Says:

just plain cruel. how can this be considered kosher?

You comment here is a lot more cruel than the cruelty portrayed in the video clip, think about it.


 Nov 03, 2016 at 10:55 PM RebelSheep Says:

PETA slaughters most of the dogs and cats in their so-called shelters.


 Nov 03, 2016 at 11:09 PM Reb Yid Says:

I'm sure Genack will pussyfoot with PETA again, just like he did when they were gunning for Rubashkin.


 Nov 04, 2016 at 02:03 AM chaimkeh Says:

I've witnessed schitah's using a drum and have personally schected animals in an Arab village in Israel using a method similar to what is shown in this video and in my opinion the shackle and hoist method is more humane since it is faster and is over before the animal knows what is happening. Not so for the rotating drum. The animal needs to be positioned, etc., using a remotely controlled machine that in my opinion is much more traumatic. In fact I was very impressed by the professional schitah that was being done in the video.


 Nov 04, 2016 at 04:22 AM Anonymous Says:

Reply to #3  
Oh Boy Says:

Here we go again. PETA needs to be disband.

Why ban Peta?
How about if we follow laws?


 Nov 04, 2016 at 08:51 AM Shlomo-1 Says:

Reply to #3  
Oh Boy Says:

Here we go again. PETA needs to be disband.

Why? I disagree with them on many things but they aren't wrong in this case.


 Nov 04, 2016 at 11:37 AM abilenetx Says:

Normal slaughter of animals is ok, like hitting them in the head and dissecting them while the animal is still alive, I guess PETA is okay with that. Kosher kill may not look what the world sees as the animal is dead when it is cut up and feels no pain. Imagine how much pain the animal feels when it wakes up while being taken apart. Next time a non kosher animal is eaten remember how much pain the animal was in as you enjoy your chicken, meat, etc. .


 Nov 04, 2016 at 01:27 PM Mr Yossi Field Says:

Reply to #5  
RebelSheep Says:

PETA slaughters most of the dogs and cats in their so-called shelters.

I agree, PETA causes more problems than the good they try to achieve.


 Nov 08, 2016 at 09:19 AM Mark Levin Says:

Peta yemach shmom vzichrom should be g'shuchtin b'korov!!!!

They are a detriment to normal functioning society with their utter nonsense. They preach to fools INCLUDING some who've commented above mee who think just because it's on tampered video makes it emes.


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