Kosher Slaughterhouse Controversy Attack on Religious Freedom?

December 1, 2004

Source: Yahoo News

Wire Service: AP

On December 1, 2004 Yahoo News/AP reported, "an animal rights group filed a complaint Wednesday against a kosher slaughterhouse for alleged cruelty to cattle. The slaughterhouse called the complaint a veiled attack on religious freedom. Videotape of animals thrashing about after their throats were slit was shown at a news conference Wednesday in New York. People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals said the videotape, taken secretly in the summer of 2004, shows the animals were conscious and suffering. PETA's complaint, filed with the U.S. Agriculture Department, called for the prosecution of Agriprocessors Inc. and the Orthodox Union, an international kosher certification agency... 'This isn't an attack on Agriprocessors, but an attack on the kosher processing industry,' said Mike Thomas, a company spokesman... Thomas said the PETA tape is misleading and was obtained under dubious circumstances by someone with a political agenda. He disputed claims that the trachea are yanked from steers, saying to do so would violate kosher laws. Steve Steiner, spokesman for the Orthodox Union, said his group is reviewing the 30-minute videotape."