British kashrut authorities and importers have confirmed that they do not get any of their kosher meat from Paraguay in South America, after an undercover video captured shocking animal cruelty at a kosher abattoir there.
Activists linked to People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA), together with an Israeli grassroots group, revealed the footage, which shows a kosher slaughterhouse using the ‘shackle and hoist’ method, which is banned in the E.U. and U.S.
However, despite successive Israeli chief rabbis promising to ban the import of meat slaughtered using this method, up to 40 percent of kosher meat exported to Israel is believed to come from South America, where the method is widespread.
It involves pulling the cow up into the air by one of its hind legs and then dropping it onto the ground where it is restrained with a nose hook and a sharp trident-like device called a “devil’s fork” before its throat is slit.
The undercover video, shot in July, shows cows being hoisted up to bleed out, with workers cutting into their heads while they are still conscious and moving, sometimes for up to two minutes.
Dr Temple Grandin, a professor in Animal Sciences at Colorado State University, told The Forward that the method was “a violation of all industry and international welfare guidelines.”
Hannah Schein, a kosher slaughter expert at PETA, said: “In properly-conducted kosher slaughter, you would ideally have no stress on the cow.”