On Tuesday, Education, Culture and Sport Committee chairman Amram Mitzna announced plans to call the Agricultural Ministry in front of the Knesset to answer charges that the agency has neglected animal abuse issues in Israel’s food supply.
The summons comes after a Channel 10 expose revealed another case of livestock maltreatment in the Soglowek slaughterhouse.
“There is insufficient enthusiasm and will on the part of the Agriculture Ministry to take this subject as seriously as it deserves to be taken,” Mitzna said, insisting that Agricultural Ministry heads answer for their neglect in front of the lawmakers.
“We will not compromise on following the law and won’t allow people to abuse animals for no reason before they reach the end of their lives,” Mitzna added. “We will all join the effort to take care of these problems and promote normative values.”
In response to Mitzna’s demands that the Agricultural Ministry be held accountable, the ministry stated that it planned on undertaking “extensive and continuous activity ensuring the welfare of animals in all the slaughterhouses throughout the year through supervision and law enforcement to stop animal abuse and by passing laws and regulations that promote reforms to improve animal welfare.”
Responding directly to accusations that a Soglowek tape reveals ministry neglect, the Agricultural Ministry stressed it was not entirely culpable for the horrific abuses including chickens being stuck in the machines and chased with hooks.
“The [Soglowek] slaughterhouse has its own supervision system, including a veterinarian and clear instructions to examine and report all shortcomings,” the ministry said, adding that it “cannot be everywhere all the time.”
Dr. Nadav Gal-on, of the Agriculture Ministry Veterinary Service, further stated that, in his opinion, the lawmakers and others drawing attention to the animal abuses have an unrealistic expectation of what it means to raise livestock for consumption.
“Raising animals for slaughter and to be eaten doesn’t look as great as the cute dog in your living room,” he said.