Video: Startling Cruelty Exposed at Kosher Slaughterhouses

Still-Conscious Cows Shown Cut, Stabbed, and Subjected to Painful Restraint Methods During Primitive 'Shackle and Hoist' Slaughter

For Immediate Release:
November 2, 2016

Contact:
David Perle 202-483-7382

Limpio, Paraguay – A new video exposé that was shot in July 2016 at the Frigochaco slaughterhouse in Paraguay—the country that supplies 40 percent of all kosher beef sold in Israel—and released today reveals that workers are still using an archaic “shackle and hoist” slaughter method. Additional whistleblower footage taken at facilities in Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay also shows this cruel practice.

The video shows cows jabbed with electric shock prods to get them into a squeeze box, where their legs are chained before the floor drops out from under them, dumping them onto the kill floor. Workers wrench back the live cows’ necks using a sharp, trident-like “devil’s fork” and cut their throats. Still alive and kicking, they are then hoisted by one leg—all their massive weight suspended from that limb—and shunted down the processing line, where a worker drives a spike (or puntilla) into the back of their head to sever the spine and paralyze them. Many of the cows remain alive and conscious during this entire process.

“It’s an utter betrayal of Jewish law’s prohibitions against unnecessary suffering to use painful restraint methods and hack apart still-conscious, petrified cows,” says People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) Senior Vice President Daphna Nachminovitch. “PETA is calling on the Israeli government and religious authorities to ban imports from facilities that torture animals, and we are reminding everyone that the only way to eat humanely is to go vegan.”

Animal behavior expert Dr. Temple Grandin reviewed PETA’s footage and condemns the “shackle and hoist” method as “a violation of all industry and international welfare guidelines.” She continues, “The highly stressful, cruel methods of restraint must be eliminated. These plants must also stop hanging fully conscious cattle on the rail. … [These practices] cause unnecessary suffering.”

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat”—and Anonymous for Animal Rights note that up to 80 percent of the kosher meat imported into Israel comes from slaughterhouses that use the “shackle and hoist” method. Argentina and Uruguay currently export beef to the U.S., and although Paraguay isn’t currently approved to do the same, that policy may change in the near future. American authorities do not currently prohibit kosher beef from cows killed using this cruel method from entering the U.S. food supply.

Broadcast-quality video footage and photos from the investigation are available. For more information, please visit PETA.org.

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.

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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind