The Kolbotek report documenting outrageous animal abuse in the Adom Adom slaughterhouse in Beit Shean has led some to turn to the Chief Rabbinate of Israel to revoke the company’s hashgacha. The hidden camera documented regular unacceptable abuse of cattle before shechita, which has since led to international outrage along with demands to halt the sale of cattle to Israel from Australia.
Dr. Bidda Jones, a senior veterinarian at Australian animal rights organization RSPCA, said that the exposé’s footage showed a severe case of animal cruelty and violated the standards set by global animal health organization OIE, to which Israel had vowed to comply.
In Israel, there are some who feel that an appropriate response to the abuse would include action by the Chief Rabbinate, and those who feel this should be the case are calling to have the hashgacha pulled.
A statement released to the media by the Chief Rabbinate read, “Our Holy Torah commands us to be compassionate towards animals and prohibits causing undue sorrow.”
The Chief Rabbinate however explains that while it is outraged by the documented acts in Adom Adom, it does not have the authority to revoke the hashgacha over the shechita. The rabbinate does call on Adom Adom to draft guidelines to ensure the unacceptable norms are not continued. The rabbinate recommends that any animal that is abused should be classified a treif immediately.
Chief Ashkenazi Rabbi Yonah Metzger added “צער בעלי-חיים is prohibited by the Torah and if the Chief Rabbinate had the authority, it would revoke the hashgacha from the company.”
A number of animal rights organizations are unwilling to accept the Chief Rabbinate’s position and they are taking the case to the High Court of Justice seeking a ruling to compel the rabbinate to yank the company’s hashgacha. Some question why a hashgacha can be pulled if tznius is not up to par or if hotels hold Xmas parties but when it comes to the animal abuse issue, the Chief Rabbinate conveniently states it lakes the authority to act.
The Adom Adom Company is run by Tnuva and it is viewed as the highest grade kosher meat slaughtered locally, in Israel. Perhaps even more ironic is the fact that the Beit Shean slaughterhouse facility is viewed as among the most modern in the world yet the treatment of animals has been documented as grossly unacceptable.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)