The Agriculture Ministry ordered Israel’s largest slaughterhouse to halt its operations Tuesday, after a TV report documenting animal abuse at the site led to domestic and international calls to investigate the allegations.
The owners of Dabach, located in the northern Arab town of Deir al-Assad, were summoned to a hearing for suspected violations of the Animal Welfare Act (Hebrew) and for breaching animal slaughter regulations, Israel radio reported.
Sunday’s report (Hebrew) showed workers at the Deir al-Assad kosher meat factory in northern Israel beating the 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.
Following the report, the Australian government demanded a probe into the abattoir’s practices, citing allegations that cattle were seriously abused on their way to slaughter.
Australia, which supplies around half of the cattle on the Israeli market, demands fair and humane treatment of the animals even after they’ve left its territory. After becoming aware of the footage, Australian officials demanded an investigation from the Israeli Agriculture Ministry.
The ministry told Channel 2 on Sunday that it would treat the case seriously and remedy any failings of policy to prevent such treatment from recurring.
The Dabah company, which runs the slaughterhouse, said that it has always striven “to provide optimal conditions to the animals in its facilities” and claimed the workers were acting against company policies. Dabah said it had fired the offending employees and would ensure such incidents did not happen again