Friday, September 5, 2008

Agudath Israel Letter to NY Times Regarding Newest PETA Shechita Allegations

Letters to the Editor
The New York Times
229 West 43rd Street
New York, NY 10036

To the Editor:

Two comments on your news story “Kosher Plant is Accused of Inhumane Slaughter”:
First, your reporter is right that Jewish ritual slaughter is “allowed under exemptions in federal animal cruelty laws,” but only half right. In enacting the humane slaughter law, Congress made an explicit affirmative finding that the Jewish method of ritual slaughter is humane. (7 U.S.C. §1902(b).)

Second, given the headline of the news story, and the content of the first few paragraphs – which describe the claim by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) that a videotape one of its representatives surreptitiously took of animal slaughter procedures at the AgriProcessors plant in Postville, Iowa showed inhumane practices – I was surprised (pleasantly so) to discover in the fifth paragraph of the story that Department of Agriculture officials had “determined the violations were ‘not egregious’,” and that “the plant was currently in full compliance with humane slaughter regulations.”

Shouldn’t the headline have been “USDA Rejects Claim of Inhumane Slaughter at Kosher Plant”?
(Link to original story on FNR)


David Zwiebel
Executive Vice President
for Government and Public Affairs
Agudath Israel of America

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