Friday, December 03, 2004

Repercussion # 3 -- OU backtracks, fast

According to this morning's NYT,
Rabbi Tzvi Hersh Weinreb, the executive vice president of the Orthodox Union, which certifies more than 600,000 products around the world as kosher, said the video "raises all sorts of questions."
Rabbi Weinreb said he would ask that the plant stop letting workers tear the trachea and esophagus out of animals. He said he found the procedure "especially inhumane" and "generally unacceptable" but wanted to investigate how regularly it happened.
He said he was also considering asking that animals be held longer inside the rotating drum where they are killed.
Note: he did not say there were problems with the Kashrut, but merely that they would be changing their practice, presumably because of the spectre of lawsuits and investigations, the economic repercussions which have already been felt, and the publicity aspect, all of which they perhaps did not appreciate sufficiently at first (plus cruelty to animals??? Probably not).
Will this be enough to get them out of legal and economic trouble? Their problems clearly are just beginning, but admitting that there is a problem is an extremely important and responsible step, which as I wrote before, will help damage-control. Questions are, how many other abattoirs have they allowed (by policy, oversight or simply not appreciating the issues) to practice unneccesarily cruel/ publicly damaging shechita? And are they going to learn the systemic lessons, or leave it at this?

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