Panel Rejects Attempt to Compel City to Halt Religious Slaughtering Ritual

, New York Law Journal

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An animal rights group cannot use a mandamus action to compel New York City to stop ultra-Orthodox Jews from openly practicing the ritual of Kaporos, in which chickens' throats are sliced on public streets, a divided appeals court ruled Tuesday.

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  • Karen Davis, President, United Poultry Concerns

    With all due respect, it is NOT true that the flesh of the slaughtered chickens is donated to the poor. While this may happen occasionally (or not), typically the birds, alive and dead, are thrown into large plastic trash bags. Our lawsuit cites documented evidence that most of the chickens go straight to the landfill. The rabbis themselves have admitted, when pressed, that they don‘t have the on-site refrigeration to store the dead bodies of thousands of chickens following the ritual, after which they scoot off to their High Holidays leaving dead and suffering, dying birds on the streets and sidewalks for the sanitation workers and garbage trucks. Other rabbis have observed that the open-air slaughter operations are not fit to produce a Kosher product. Anyone who has ever stood on the streets of Brooklyn, as I have done since 2010, and watched this maniacal ritual being conducted, will, unless they themselves are participants, be revolted morally and physically by the cruelty and filth. Moreover, this horribleness is a mere custom and Not a Jewish mandate. Most people who choose to practice Kaporos swing coins and give their donations directly to their favorite charity.

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