Sacred and Federal Laws Violated at Kosher Slaughterhouse
A Meat and Dairy Industries Article from All-Creatures.org
People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA)
There is no justification for the cruelty I documented
in that slaughterhouse. The presence of the USDA didn’t have any effect, nor
did the presence of the rabbis. These animals were failed by both religion
PETA’s investigator witnessed egregiously cruel slaughter methods being
used at an AgriProcessors kosher slaughterhouse in Postville, Iowa.
chickens, and turkeys suffered through prolonged consciousness after having
their throats cut and being dismembered while still fully conscious. Many
instances of inhumane slaughter were captured on film.
The following are
excerpts from the investigator’s notes:
- The cow was loaded into a machine that resembles a large metal tube.
His head stuck out of the front, then a metal bar clamped under his neck
and forced his head upwards and back, cocked in an awkward and
painful-looking position. The entire machine rotated, turning the cow
upside-down. This process seemed to terrify him—his eyes were wide with
fright—I imagine because he had never been in such a helpless position.
The cow’s exposed neck was scrubbed with a hose and brush, then a rabbi
came out of a small room and slit the cow’s throat. Another worker
followed the rabbi and gouged a chunk of flesh out of the cow’s neck and
then pulled his trachea or esophagus (I’m not sure which one) outside of
his throat so that it hung down. Then the machine reverted the cow into
an upright position. The trap door on the side opened up and the cow was
dumped onto the floor, where another worker attached a chain to the
animal’s ankle so that he could be hoisted into the air and sent down
- Many cows were still alive and conscious when they came out of the
tube and were slammed onto the floor. Their heads often hit the concrete
with a sickening crack. I watched as one cow landed on his feet and
started scrambling around with a shocked look on his face. The workers
simply jumped behind their barricade and waited for him to collapse.
- A cow stood up after being dumped on the floor and went into the
corner. They managed to kill one or two more cows while he lay there
moving around trying to stand up. He continually moved his nearly
severed head around ï¿½ as his legs were also making an effort to stand.
- Some birds fell after being placed into buckets—these birds flopped
around on the ground violently, and once stopped, they were thrown into
- I took footage of chickens in trailers where the vents/fans were not
running. It’s August 11 and really hot. I also took footage of the
dumping of chickens onto the conveyor system to be killed. I noticed
that one chicken had her foot caught between the conveyor and the wall,
and she was unable to pull her foot out.
- The auger broke today. That’s the machinery that brings the inedible
parts out to the trailer to be dumped. The inedible matter went all over
the basement. The maintenance man told me that the inedible matter was
sent to be used in pet food and cosmetics.
- The USDA inspector, Chad, told me that there is another kosher plant
in Waterloo called Cason. They use a different method, one recommended
by Temple Grandin, where the cows are lowered onto their stomachs
instead of being turned upside-down in this horrible machine.
- I filmed another chicken who was caught in the conveyor system of
the poultry line. This time, the chicken’s head and wing were caught
between the retaining wall and the conveyor. I did my best to free her,
but access to the conveyor itself was blocked.
- The first time I saw a cow stagger to his feet and walk around with
his trachea dangling outside of his body, I thought to myself, this
can’t be happening—but after several days I knew better.
- The suffering and cruelty I witnessed didn’t phase anyone on that
- I just wish that people who eat meat could stand where I did for a
day and see cows whose eyes are wide with fright have their throats slit
and tracheas gouged out.
- There is no justification for the cruelty I documented in that
slaughterhouse. The presence of the USDA didn’t have any effect, nor did
the presence of the rabbis. These animals were failed by both religion
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