Steak. What did it go through on its way to your plate?
Photo: Index Open
Cruel kosher slaughter method still in use
(Video) Clip shows slaughterhouses in South America still using 'tie and raise' method, which causes great suffering to animals before their death. Office of Ashkenazi Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger says he is opposed to this slaughter method and has expressed his discontent
VIDEO - Two years ago the Chief Rabbinate announced that it would take action to implement a slaughter method that does not cause unnecessary suffering to animals. Accordingly, the Rabbinate said it would issue an order that only meat slaughtered with the "boxing" method, and not the "shackle and hoist" method, be imported to Israel.
Animal rights groups praised the initiative. However, a video clip that surfaced recently reveals that at least some of the slaughterhouses have not changed their methodology, and there is still high demand for meat coming from their plants.
The video, which was secretly filmed by PETA, shows the actions undertaken in one of the large slaughterhouses in Uruguay, which supplies a sizeable portion of the kosher meat originating in South America. There, cows are hung by one foot with their heads facing the ground when they are still fully conscious. Then the butcher comes along and slits its throat.
Israeli animal rights group, Chai, claims that the restraint method is more humane. In the restraint method, the animal stands upright and calm until the cut is made. However, the Chief Rabbinate insists that the beast be upside down so that the cut be made in a downward motion, a stipulation Chai claims is not required by halacha (Jewish religious law).
The organization welcomed the institution of the boxing method two years ago, but level criticism at Rabbi Yona Metzger, whom they say is not doing enough to put the change into action.
A representative of the animal rights group, Rabbi Adam Frank, said, "The only step taken by Rabbi Metzger on the issue of slaughter was to meet with kosher meat importers in Israel, who are the ones who will need to pay more for the required changes, in order to ask them to pass a reform that in essence has already been undertaken by meat kosher meat producers throughout the world.
"All the slaughterers in South American are under the supervision of the Rabbinate, and all the meat imported from there to Israel must receive authorization from the Rabbinate. Accordingly, Chai calls upon Rabbi Metzger to exercise his authority in order to implement the reform. The moral responsibility and outrage against such continued abuse of animals necessitate such a move, at the very least," said Rabbi Frank.
Rabbi Metzger's office reported, "The slaughter scene in the video was carried out under the supervision of an American kosher organization that is not in any way connected to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel. The rabbi is opposed to this slaughter method and has expressed his disgust for it on more than one occasion.
"The Rabbinate recently convened all the meat importers in Israel and notified them that they will no longer be allowed to import meat slaughtered using this method, and that the plants must switch to the boxing method, which minimizes animal suffering. Currently, following a period of adjustment in which the slaughterhouses made arrangements to carry out the new orders, the Rabbinate is prepared to enforce the new directive."
Kobi Nahshoni contributed to this report