Animal rights groups are up in arms after it has become clear that the managers and veterinarians at the helm of Tnuva’s Adom Adom slaughterhouse controversy will not be prosecuted on animal abuse charges.
In December 2012, a shocking expose focused on Tnuva’s meat processing plant revealed widespread and horrific animal abuses inside the plant. The video, broadcast on Israeli television show “Kolbotek,” showed systematic abuse of cows, lambs, and calves intended for slaughter, including beating young calves, using shocks, pulling at ears and hitting them repeatedly with sticks.
After an investigation was launched, several interviews of Adom Adom workers and managers provided strong proof that animal abuse was on-going and little was done to stop it.
“Electric shockers were used on the calves as a first resort, and the minute the shockers stopped working, they would hit the calves with plastic pipes and that made noise,” veterinarian Dr. Yvgeny Borshtzevsky said during a police interview. “I didn’t approve these actions but I didn’t try to stop them either, because I didn’t see any other way to get the calves to move.”
Another worker said plant manager Moshe Ben Shoshan was very aware of the ongoing abuse at the plant. “Moshiko (Shoshan) would come to the place, look at us from above, and would see what I was doing and what the other workers were doing.”
Yet, despite numerous testimonies and seeming strong evidence stemming from the investigation, upper-level management has escaped charges for the animal abuses and only four workers, present on the floor at the time of taping, have been held culpable.
“We can’t accept that those who bear the primary responsibility for these actions evade criminal responsibility,” Let Animals Live! Dr. Yossi Wolfson wrote in an appeal to Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein. “They either issued cruel instructions or watched silently as this abuse was taking place.”
The Northern District’s Prosecution office, however, responded to the call for justice by stating that it not a lack of willingness to prosecute those higher-up in the company, but rather a lack of evidence to meet the burden of proof in those cases.
“After hearings conducted for all the suspects that wanted them, including executives of the plant and of Tnuva, there wasn’t sufficient evidence establishing criminal culpability for the crimes,” a spokesperson from the prosecutor’s office said.