Video: Shocking Cruelty Exposed at Kosher Abattoirs

For Immediate Release:
3 November 2016

Olivia Jordan +44 (0) 20 7837 6327, ext 229; [email protected]

Still-Conscious Cows Shown Cut, Stabbed, and Subjected to Painful Restraint Methods During Primitive ‘Shackle and Hoist’ Slaughter

London – A new video exposé that was shot by PETA US in July 2016 at the Frigochaco abattoir in Paraguay – the country that supplies 40 per cent of all kosher beef sold in Israel – reveals that workers are still using an archaic “shackle and hoist” slaughter method. Additional whistle-blower footage taken at facilities in Paraguay, Argentina, and Uruguay also shows this cruel practice.

The video shows cows jabbed with electric shock prods to get them into a squeeze box, where their legs are chained before the floor drops out from under them, dumping them onto the kill floor. Workers wrench back the live cows’ necks using a sharp, trident-like “devil’s fork” and cut their throats. Still alive and kicking, they are then hoisted by one leg – all their massive weight suspended from that limb – and shunted down the processing line, where a worker drives a spike (or puntilla) into the back of their head to sever the spine and paralyse them. Many of the cows remain alive and conscious during this entire process.

“Unnecessary cruelty to animals is strictly forbidden in Jewish law – these painful restraint methods and the hacking apart of still-conscious, petrified cows is utterly unjustifiable”, says PETA’s Director of International Programmes, Mimi Bekhechi. “The Israeli government and religious authorities must ban imports from facilities that torture animals – and PETA reminds compassionate people that when it comes to meat, the only label that consumers can trust to be truly humane is the one that reads ‘vegan’.”

Animal behaviour expert Dr Temple Grandin reviewed PETA US’ footage and condemns the “shackle and hoist” method as “a violation of all industry and international welfare guidelines”. She continues, “The highly stressful, cruel methods of restraint must be eliminated. These plants must also stop hanging fully conscious cattle on the rail. … [These practices] cause unnecessary suffering”.

PETA – whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to eat” – and Anonymous for Animal Rights note that up to 80 per cent of the kosher meat imported into Israel comes from abattoirs that use the “shackle and hoist” method.

The PETA US video footage is here, and photos from the investigation are here. For more information, please visit