The Agriculture Ministry on Monday ordered the closure of a slaughterhouse owned by the Soglowek company after a Channel 10 report, in cooperation with animal rights activists, revealed disturbing footage of animal abuse at the plant.
Activists from the Anonymous for Animal Rights organization captured hidden camera footage of the daily treatment of chickens at the factory in Shlomi, northern Israel.
Workers were seen bashing chickens on the floor, kicking them back and forth as if in a game of soccer, dunking the birds into trash cans while still alive and using them as makeshift weapons in fights. When removing newly arrived chickens from their crates, workers were seen forcibly tearing out chickens whose legs had become entangled in the metal bars.
Agriculture Minister Uri Ariel said following the report that work at the plant would be halted immediately and that he would show “zero tolerance” for animal abuse.
Soglowek apologized for the workers’ behavior. It said the workers in question had been fired and a complaint against them had been filed with police.
The company said it “works tirelessly to prevent such regrettable incidents from happening and we are sorry that such problems occur despite all this.”
The Soglowek report came fresh off the heels of another widely publicized case in which animal abuse was recorded at the country’s largest slaughterhouse.
A report on Channel 2 in June showed workers at the Deir al-Assad kosher meat factory in northern Israel beating animals in an effort to hurry them onward to the slaughter. The men were seen kicking and hitting the cattle with sticks, dragging them across the floor by their legs, and repeatedly hitting them with a metal gate to push them forward.
In that case too the Agriculture Ministry ordered the facility to halt operations, and its owners were summoned to a hearing for suspected violations of the Animal Welfare Act.