"I've noticed that quite a lot of people who are prominent in the animal liberation movement are Jews. Maybe we are simply not prepared to see the powerful hurting the weak." --Peter Singer (Author, Animal Liberation)


PETA Investigation Uncovers Shackling and Hoisting at Another Kosher Slaughterhouse in Uruguay

In February 2008, PETA released an undercover video it shot at a Uruguayan kosher slaughterhouse that performed shackling and hoisting, a cruel manner of cattle slaughter that has been phased out in the U.S. kosher meat industry. Israel and the U.S. both import large quantities of kosher meat from Uruguay and other South American countries. In March 2008, I wrote, "The good news is that Israel's Chief Rabbinate will phase out shackling and hoisting. The bad news is that the Rabbinate apparently isn't committing to any sort of time frame for the phase-out."

Nathaniel Popper, who has done excellent reporting on the kosher meat industry for the Forward in recent years, has an article in tomorrow's Los Angeles Times about a new PETA investigation showing that shackling and hoisting has yet to be phased out. The investigation took place in December at Frigorifico Las Piedras in Uruguay; the slaughterhouse is a major supplier of Alle Processing, which became the leading kosher meat supplier in the U.S. in the wake of AgriProcessors' collapse. Popper noted, "Meat from Las Piedras and other South America factories is used to produce most of the processed kosher meat consumed in America, including deli favorites such as salami and pastrami, kosher authorities say."

From the article it seems that various parties are pointing fingers rather than taking responsibility or initiative to phase out shackling and hoisting. Menachem Genack, chief executive of the Orthodox Union's kosher certification unit, said that while the group still favored a phaseout, it didn't want to "disrupt a very fragile industry" and threaten the supply of kosher beef. Ezra Harari Raful, head of meat imports for Israel's Chief Rabbinate, said that the decision to change procedure was up to the slaughterhouse owners in South America. Joe Regenstein, a kosher meat expert and a food science professor at Cornell University, said that the burden to take action belongs to Israeli Chief Rabbi Yona Metzger.

Popper quotes animal welfare expert Temple Grandin as saying, "I'm getting fed up with it. It's a really terrible practice and it needs to stop. It's that simple." On PETA's Web site, Grandin is quoted as follows:
I watched the video. This plant is definitely doing the method of shackling the live bovine and then hoisting and dragging [the animal] out of the stun box and holding [the animal] down. This is a cruel, dangerous practice that should be stopped. This cruel method should be replaced with upright restraint.
The new video footage can be viewed on PETA's Web site.


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