Author Topic: Slaughterhouse confesses to wrongdoing. 19.12.2012  (Read 917 times)

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Slaughterhouse confesses to wrongdoing. 19.12.2012
« Reply #1 on: December 20, 2012, 10:00:09 AM »
THE Israeli food conglomerate at the heart of the latest Australian live exports controversy has acknowledged to The AJN that “rude, sadistic behaviour” was filmed in its slaughterhouse. Last week, ABC TV aired a documentary filmed at the Bakar Tnuva slaughterhouse in northern Israel, which is believed to receive most of its livestock from Australia. The video, previously aired on Israel’s Channel 2, appeared to show employees using electric cattle prods — which are not permitted in Israel for routine use — to control the animals, and also moving cattle while bleeding to death. A cow, which seemed to be injured, was seen being dragged along the ground by a rope, and staff were shown using poking animals with rods.

   ronen bar height=250                     
Israeli Police has opened an investigation against the slaughterhouse, and has confiscated prods, rods and ropes, and interrogated staff. Israel’s Agriculture Ministry is carrying out its own investigations, and participating in the police probe.
“The Agricultural Police is investigating the plant with the Israel Police and we think we can prosecute them,” Agriculture Ministry spokeswoman Dafna Yurista told The AJN. She added: “We want to cooperate with the Australian authorities.”
The AJN has learned that Israel’s Chief Rabbinate is considering removing the plant’s kashrut certification, which it oversees. “There will be a council meeting of the Chief Rabbinate to examine the kashrut issue,” a senior rabbinate official confirmed to The AJN.
He said: “Cruelty to animals is prohibited by the Torah, and there is an additional matter of the kashrut of the animals.” He was referring to the fact that an injured animal cannot qualify for kosher slaughter, which has raised fear in the rabbinate that if animals have been slaughtered after being injured by Tnuva employees the meat could be non-kosher.
Ronen Bar, the animal rights activist and journalist who went undercover to make the video, said that shochetim and kashrut inspectors “were not doing [cruel] things with their own hand but they saw what was going on.”
While the Israeli Agriculture Ministry has stopped short of closing down the slaughterhouse, saying that it needs to gather more evidence before taking action, two Israeli nonprofits have petitioned the High Court in Jerusalem to close down Tnuva’s plant.  “The documentation from Ronen Bar’s camera shows that driving a herd at Bakar Tnuva is done principally by means of stick beatings and electric shocks,” said the petition by Anonymous for Animal Rights — which Bar is affiliated to — and Let the Animals Live.
But Tnuva claims that it is successfully changing practices.  A spokeswoman said that “immediately” upon becoming aware if the problems the company suspended all contract workers involved, and the plant manager resigned. It added security cameras in the work area in order to increase supervision and control. She stressed that the company condemned the behaviour in the video.
The spokeswoman added: “All workers are currently going through trainings and refresher course for company’s code of conduct and procedures. The course includes special attention to proper care and treatment for animals.
“We held a conversation with Meat and Livestock Australia resulting in key MLA trainers scheduled to arrive on site to provide a comprehensive assessment and retraining package to ensure full compliance with highest animal health and welfare standards.”
Bar said he thinks that “none of the changes are really going to make a big or serious impact.”  In his opinion factory farming “will always be a very cruel business,” and he believes the slaughterhouse where he worked is no worse than other Israeli slaughterhouses — or slaughterhouses in other countries that receive Australian livestock. He added that he doesn’t think that kosher slaughter methods or the lack of pre-stunning in Israel due to Jewish law makes slaughter in Israel crueller than in other countries.
Bar, a 29-year-old vegan from Tel Aviv, found his 19 days working in the slaughterhouse harrowing. He said that the culture of harsh conduct there meant that he had to hurt animals to avoid blowing his cover. “They told me a few times and unfortunately I had to do it — to drag a sheep by one leg from the truck to the pen,” he told The AJN. Cruelty was “expected” from workers.
He said: “On   my first day there the manager told me if a calf doesn’t move shove an electric prod in its arse and it will move.”
Bar claimed that the most disturbing incident he saw didn’t feature in his video. He alleges that he saw senior staff grab a calf by its eye sockets. “It seemed to me that maybe the eye would just fall out,” he said.
He claimed that Australian accreditation is “really a joke” and argued that the only way for Australia to stop such incidents is to stop livestock exports. “I think the public in Australia should use the power in its hands— I mean that if the public demands the government to stop live exports something could happen.”
NATHAN JEFAY
Israeli journalist Ronen Bar is a screen grab from the ABC’s 730 program.
December 19, 2012


http://www.jewishnews.net.au/slaughterhouse-confesses-to-wrongdoing-2/28946