Animal Cruelty At Israel’s Premier Glatt Kosher Slaughterhouse Causes International Outcry

Cattle prod use at Tnuva's Adom Adom slaughterhouse 12-2012

Tnuva’s Beit She’an slaughterhouse was caught in a PETA-style undercover hidden camera investigation willfully abusing and torturing animals. Because many of those those animals came from Australia and their handling and slaughter is governed by international agreements, the Government of Australia has launched an investigation into what it calls shoking animal cruelty. The Israeli governemt has also opened an investigation, as has Israeli police.

Cattle prod use at Tnuva's Adom Adom slaughterhouse 12-2012

Animal Cruelty At Israel’s Premier Glatt Kosher Slaughterhouse Causes International Outcry Shmarya Rosenberg • FailedMessiah.com

Israel’s Environmental Protection Ministry and the Australia’s Department of Agriculture have reportedly opened investigations against Israel’s giant food conglomerate Tnuva after animal abuse at one of the corporation’s glatt kosher slaughterhouses was exposed on Israeli national television.

Channel 2’s investigative program Kolbotek’s exposé was shown last week. Ronen Bar, an animal rights activist posing as a worker at the Adom-Adom slaughterhouse in Beit She’an, videoed employees using stun guns on the genitals and eyes of cattle, and a manager standing by and watching as a calf was dragged across the ground by a forklift.

Employees also reportedly told Bar that Adom-Adom’s management ordered employees to shock cattle in the rear end to move them to the slaughterhouse.

Following the show, there were reportedly widespread calls on social media for a boycott of not only Adom Adom meat products, but of Tnuva’s large line of dairy products, as well, and Beit She’an police reportedly opened a criminal investigation into the abuse.

Because most of the abused cattle had been shipped in from Australia, the Australian Department of Agriculture opened an investigation. Animal rights groups in Australia, including the Royal Society for Protection from Cruelty to Animals and Animals Australia, are calling for a ban on cattle exports to Israel. Meanwhile, on Monday, which was International Animal Rights Day, hundreds of protesters demonstrated in Tel Aviv against Tnuva and demanded the resignation of its CEO.

The day before that protest Israel’s Environmental Protection Minister Gilad Erdan called for a criminal investigation into the allegations exposed by the video.

“There is no reason for animals to endure such horrible abuse,” Erdan said.

This is not the first time animal abuse at Adom-Adom have been exposed. In September 2011, the activist group Anonymous for Animal Rights released a report that documented many similar abuses at Adom-Adom’s Beit She’an  slaughterhouse. But the report was widely ignored.

Adom-Adom’s CEO Erez Wolf issued a statement saying that “everything we saw [in the Kolbotek video footage] is completely unacceptable to us.”

Wolf announced that he had accepted the resignation of the manager of his slaughterhouse. He also said he had fired all of the employees who had taken part in the abusive practices.

Wolf also had cameras installed in the pens, so he can personally ensure that the animals are not being abused in the future.

“We will continue to be very strict about quality, not only in terms of our excellent products, but also in terms of prevention of cruelty to animals. The extreme examples that we have seen here will never happen again,” Wolf said.

Moving animals from outdoor pens or barns through chutes to the slaughter floor can be done smoothly and without use of electric cattle prods and other painful methods.
Dr. Temple Grandin, the foremost animal welfare and animal behavior expert in the world, has designed chutes and other equipment that make this possible by eliminating the aspects of poor design that cause animals to balk.

Grandin also consults with slaughterhouses and adapts their existing chutes and pens.
Many of the largest slaughterhouses in the US and Canada use Grandin’s methods, not only because they are better for the animals, but because calm, compliant animals are faster and easier to slaughter and, because of reduced stress hormones and related physiological issues, their meat is higher quality.

Adom-Adom does not appear to be using Grandin’s equipment or methods.

Kosher slaughterhouses in Israel, South America, Europe and the United States have all been caught up in major animal abuse and inhumane slaughter scandals over the past eight years.

In the most notorious case, Agriprocessors in Postville, Iowa, owned by Chabad’s Rubashkin family, cattle were mistreated before slaughter, put in a poorly maintained, poorly operated rotating slaughter pen and flipped on their backs. They were then – often after an uncomfortable and terrifying delay – slaughtered with a cut that was too shallow to quickly kill the animal.

But the horror did not end there.

As the animals lay on their backs chocking in their own blood, an untrained plant worker used a meat hook and and a hacking knife to pull out their tracheas and hack at their blood vessels. The pen was then rotated to return the animals to the upright position, and they were dumped down a short chute onto a blood-soaked concrete floor.

But many of the animals were not dead or unconscious. Instead, grievously wounded, they struggled to right themselves and get up. Some managed to do so and tried to run away, their esophagus dangling from their open throat wounds.

Instead of condemning this barbarity, Orthodox and haredi rabbis – including Israel’s chief rabbis – with almost 100% public uniformity endorsed the cruelty, making it clear that the meat Agriprocessors produced was 100% kosher.

In the years after the Agriprocessors abuses were made public, Israel’s Chief Rabbinate promised to stop other cruel practices at South American slaughterhouses that export to Israel and at Israeli slaughterhouses. But those changes were, for the most part, never made.

[Hat Tip: Seymour.]

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