Stop Certifying Shackle and Hoist Meat as Kosher

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We are urging the OK, Kof-K, Star K, the Chicago Rabbinical Council, and the Orthodox Union kosher certification agencies to stop certifying the meat of animals slaughtered by the shackle and hoist method due to the enormous amount of unnecessary animal suffering it causes.

In this cruel killing method animals have an iron shackle placed on one of their hind legs and are then hoisted into the air causing broken bones, snapped tendons, and intense pain. This procedure delays the onset of unconsciousness and oftentimes results in animals being flayed alive. A recent investigation found that cows killed by this method at a slaughterhouse in Paraguay remained fully conscious for up to two minutes after they were hoisted into the air. Workers were filmed cutting into fully conscious cows while they visibly struggled as they hung upside down.

Shackle and hoist slaughter has been condemned by experts on animal slaughter such as Temple Grandin and Rabbi Soloveitchik refused to defend. It is also a blatant desecration of the Torah mandate of Tzaar Balei Chayim which forbids causing unnecessary suffering to animals.

Following the release of the investigation in November 2016 Israel announced that no new slaughterhouses using the shackle and hoist method will be approved for export to the country. Facilities that are currently exporting meat to the country were told that they would have to phase out shackle and hoist slaughter by June 1, 2018. After this date no meat from animals killed by this method will be allowed to enter the country.

Unfortunately, while Israel has taken a stand against this animal cruelty many Kosher certification companies based in the United States are lagging behind and still certify the flesh of animals killed by this archaic method. This is simply unacceptable and we hope that they will do the right thing by either immediately stopping to certify shackle and hoist meat regardless of where the animals were slaughtered or at least committing to phasing it out.



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