Algeria Has Schechita Question; Jews Seek to Combat Press Campaign

(Jewish Telegraphic Agency Mail Service)

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Algeria has been engaged for some time in an agitation against Shechita, and the local general press has been giving the campaign considerable space. On behalf of the Jewish population, the Assistant Rabbi of Algeria, Rabbi Serore, has addressed a letter to the local paper, “La Depeche Algerienne,” in which he writes:

“I want first to express my sympathy with the aim of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to prevent suffering being inflicted upon cattle in the slaughter houses. But I protest energetically against the expressions of “savage, barbarous slaughter” employed by the President with regard to Jewish ritual slaughter. The question is not a new one. In 1867 it raised a very heated controversy and these are the conclusions arived at regarding it by M. Chauveau, the Director of the Veterinary School at Lyons:

“I have examined carefully the Jewish process of slaughtering animals in order to discover whether this process is more barbarous and inflicts more suffering on the animals than the ordinary process. I have come to the conclusion that the Jewish process is incontestably a more humane way of slaughtering ### fact, this method which consists ### severing the veins of the neck and the windpipe and the gullet is performed with such rapidity that it leaves nothing more to desire. In the very short time –one or two seconds–which the operations takes, the animal suffers no more than if it received a violent blow on the head and it is absolutely certain that it is not necessary to repeat the operation. The method of slaughtering practiced in the ordinary non-Jewish slaughter houses inflicts suffering on the animal for a longer time and the suffering is sometimes really barbarous in character as I have several times had occasion to witness. To sum up, killing through hemorrhage is one of the least cruel of methods and it would be against all physiological principles to prohibit this method of killing under the pretext that it constitutes an act of cruelty against the animal.’

“This report by M. Chauveau has been approved by M. Bouley, Inspector General of the Veterinary Schools of France and M. Thiernesse, the Director of the Veterinary School of Brussels. I hope,” Rabbi Serore concludes, “that the President of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will admit that he has been misinformed. The Mosaic Law which ordains in the Ten Commandments one day’s rest even for animals cannot be accused of inhumanity.”

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