Jewish Groups Warn on Humane Slaughter Bill Pending in New York Senate

New Jewish warnings were issued today that the Conklin Humane Slaughter bill, now pending in the New York State Senate, would prevent Jewish ritual slaughter in the State by forbidding shackling and hoisting of meat animals prior to slaughter.

The Jewish Community Relations Committee of Utica said that the Conklin bill — and a companion Calli bill in the State Assembly — specifically exempt schechita as a humane method of killing. The committee added, however, that since there are not now any means of pre-handling available to New York abbattoirs, other than shackling and hoisting, which would not interfere with schechita, the practical effect of passage of the measures would be to halt all kosher meat provisions within the state.

The same point was made by the National Council of Young Israel, which declared: “The Conklin bill was cleverly worded in that, in theory, it does not prevent schechita. It does, however, prohibit the shackling and hoisting of animals. This makes it impossible in practice to carry out schechita properly.”

Nathan Saperstein, chairman of the Young Israel Committee on Law and Legislation, said that while various devices have been experimented to replace shackling and hoisting, none of these have gained the approval of the rabbinate. It has been reported, however, that a device developed by a Philadelphia slaughter house, is an effective substitute and has received rabbinical approval. However, this device cannot be used for smaller food animals.

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