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New Revelations of Extreme Cruelty Behind Meat Supplied to Israel






New Revelations of Cruelty Behind Meat Supplied to Israel



Vegetarianism & Veganism

Factory Farming

Kosher Slaughter



Cattle Mutilation

How Long Animals Live

Slaughterhouse: Photos

Slaughterhouse: Process

Slaughterhouse: Exposé of Kosher Slaughter in the U.S.

Who Controls the Food Supply





  Photo: PETA – From the undercover video released in April 2010


Tel Aviv, April 15, 2010


"Kosher meat supplied to Israel continues to be produced using the most crude and abusive restraint practices in the industry," said Hakol Chai representative, Rabbi Adam Frank, after viewing revelations in a newly released undercover video. "Despite Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger’s public promise two and a half years ago that such cruelly produced meat would not be allowed into Israel, eighty percent of kosher meat imported into Israel comes from South America, where animal handling systems are the most barbaric in the industry."


The video, shot by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), shows Israeli shochtim at one of the largest kosher slaughter plants in South America suspending fully conscious cows upside down in the air by one chained leg, a practice called shackling and hoisting. Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger and the Rabbanut’s kashrut department have witnessed this practice during supervisory visits to the slaughterhouses. Following this past January’s visit, Rabbi Metzger’s only comment was that the meat coming from them is certifiably kosher.


At the time the cruelty was first exposed, by a 2007 PETA video, Rabbi Frank wrote to Chief Rabbis Metzger and Shlomo Amar on behalf of Hakol Chai urging reform, but the letters went unanswered. The media reported, however, that at a meeting between a delegation of the Chief Rabbinate lead by Rabbi Metzger, and the Orthodox Union (America's largest kashrut supervising agency), the restraint methods were characterized as 'extremely painful to view' and an admission was made that they should be eliminated.


In the most humane restraint method, the cow is upright and calm until the moment the throat is slit, but the Israeli Rabbanut requires that the animal be inverted in order for the cut to be in a downward motion. Glatt kosher meat consumed by haredim outside of Israel is produced with the standing pen method, evidence that the requirement is an unnecessary stricture.


When Rabbi Metzger expressed concern for improving the welfare of animals used to provide Israelis with kosher meat two years ago, he told the press of a more humane inversion method approved by the Rabbanut and used by U.S. and European kosher slaughter plants. This method employs a box-like holding pen that inverts the animal before the shechitah. "The only step taken by Rabbi Metzger, however," said Rabbi Frank, "has been to meet with kosher meat importers in Israel – the very businesspeople who must pay for the change – to request a reform already made by other kosher slaughter producers around the world."


Rabbi Metzger places blame for the continued cruelty on the meat importers, yet it is his department that supervises and endorses the imported products. All shochtim in South America are under the supervision of the Rabbanut and all kosher meat imported from South America into Israel must be approved by the Rabbanut. "Hakol Chai respectfully calls on Rabbi Metzger to use his authority to implement reforms," said Rabbi Frank. "A sense of responsibility and moral outrage over the continuing abuse of animals require no less."


For more information, including an opinion piece by Rabbi Frank, see www.chai-online.org/rabbi_frank.htm.