Rabbis Asked to Ban Shackling and Hoisting
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Rabbis Asked to Ban Shackling and Hoisting

In response to the recent revelations of extreme cruelty to animals in South American slaughterhouses that use the method of restraining animals called shackling and hoisting, at the request of CHAI/Hakol Chai (Concern for Helping Animals in Israel), Jerusalem Rabbi Adam Frank appealed to Israel's Chief Rabbis, Yona Metzger and Shlomo Amar, to issue a psak (ruling) banning shackling and hoisting in favor of less inhumane methods of restraint, as kosher laws prohibit unnecessary cruelty to animals.

Photo of a fully conscious, writhing steer, from a video of kosher slaughter taken inside a Uruguayan slaughterhouse in October 2007. The video reveals cattle killed using the shackle and hoist method. Uruguay is the number one exporter of kosher meat to both the United States and Israel. Source: PETA

"I call on the Chief Rabbinate of Israel and all shechita supervising institutions worldwide to act to eliminate this unnecessarily cruel method of restraining animals during the kosher slaughter process," said Rabbi Frank.

Shackling and hoisting consists of placing a metal cuff on one ankle of a cow and hoisting the animal to the ceiling by the cuffed ankle. The conscious, terrified animals dangle in the air in horrendous agony, waiting for their throats to be slit, as their muscles and tendons tear and their body weight can literally rip their hip joints out of their sockets

Shackling and hoisting is no longer practiced in the U.S., but it is still practiced in slaughterhouses around the world, including in kosher slaughterhouses. The Rabbinical Council of America, the largest Orthodox Rabbinic authority, endorsed a pen to replace the shackling and hoisting method, which supports the animals' bodies while they bleed out.

Officials responsible for slaughterhouse practices within Israel, both in Israel's Veterinary Services and in the Rabbinate, told CHAI/Hakol Chai that shackling and hoisting does not exist in slaughterhouses within Israel. The Veterinary Services' inspector of South American slaughterhouses that ship to Israel, and the rabbi within the Rabbinate responsible for conditions in South American slaughterhouses declined to answer our questions.

Israel imports at least 30% of its frozen meat from kosher slaughterhouses in South America, the majority of which use shackling and hoisting as a method of restraining animals. CHAI/Hakol Chai call on Israel's Ministry of Agriculture to ban this cruel method of restraint.

According to a report by the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), meat, not cars, is the number one cause of global warming. It is also a major source of land and water degradation. The UN's Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), made up of hundreds of climate change scientists worldwide, noted the importance of lifestyle changes in meeting the challenge of global warming.

"Please eat less meat," said IPCC representative, economist Rajendra Pachauri, adding that a meat-based diet also has negative consequences for human health.

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