The largest slaughterhouse in Israel has been closed down indefinitely after allegations of animal abuse were made at the plant.
The decision followed a request made by Australian veterinarians who were tipped off by animal rights groups that livestock imported from the country were not being handled properly once on Israeli soil.
An investigative report also aired on Israeli television last Sunday that showed workers beating the calves, pulling their tails and otherwise treating the animals without care. Some animals were also seen still alive after their throats had been slit.
The video launched protests across both Israel and Australia and prompted Agricultural Minister Uri Ariel to take stronger action against the abattoir.
On Tuesday, the Ministry revealed Ariel ordered the Dabbah slaughterhouse in Deir al-Assad to cease operations immediately, citing violations of both animal welfare and slaughtering laws.
“I will show zero tolerance towards harming animals,” Ariel said, stressing that animal welfare must remain a priority for all animals in Israel, including those intended to be consumed for meat.
Ariel’s announcement also comes on the heels of the news that the Ministerial Committee on Legislation approved amendments to the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Law which allows stiffer penalties for animal cruelty.
This new bill is ultimately in response to the growing public outcry about animal abuses in Israel especially in the meat industry, and calls for reform to both agricultural and companion pet laws that require owners to take more responsibility for their animals well-being and care.
In response to the news Israel’s largest slaughterhouse would now be shuttered, Anonymous for Animal Rights congratulated the activists who have worked hard to make Israel a better place for animals.
“Way to go to the hundreds who protested against the abuse that was documented in the biggest slaughterhouse in Israel!” they wrote, noting the closure as a victory for animal rights in the Israel.