Monday, September 12, 2016
A lawsuit was filed in Manhattan Supreme Court against several rabbis and the city by a group of animal rights activists, who want to stop the sacrifice of chickens that is performed in a Hasidic Jewish ritual. The Orthodox tradition takes place annually in the ten days leading up to Yom Kippur.
The Alliance to End Chickens filed the suit claiming that the annual custom in which Jews circle their heads with the chickens and then slaughtering them is a 'barbaric' tradition.
The group states that "dead chickens, half dead chickens, chicken blood, chicken feathers, chicken urine, chicken feces, other toxins and garbage… consume the public streets," during those days. "There is no oversight and no remedy for toxic contaminant-filled debris or clean up," at the locations where the services take place, it constitutes "a substantial public health risk that could have catastrophic and epidemic consequences."
The group has been protesting the rituals in Brooklyn neighborhoods.
The Daily News reported lawyers saying that the religious ceremony has become a major fundraising event for several Hasidic congregations, in which large Jewish families will buy a chicken for each of their children. The Post said that according to organizers, the slaughtered chickens are donated to the poor.
In an affidavit, the lawyers say, "Ten years ago, Kaporos only occurred in several small alleys and a handful of synagogue parking lots. However, every year it has increased in size and scope. Today, Kaporos has become an overwhelming event that has spiraled out of control… a carnival like atmosphere of bloody violence. Clearly this event is now motivated by money and profits, and not by religious redemption."
The suit has been filed by the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporas has filed against the city, the Health Department and many rabbis, trying to stop the rituals by imposing laws and fines.
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