Cow being electrocuted at Tnuva slaughterhouse.
(photo credit: FACEBOOK)
Israeli food giant Tnuva is set to contribute NIS 2.7 million to animal rights groups and NIS 1.5m. worth of food products to food-distribution organization Latet in a class action settlement regarding slaughterhouse abuse announced Sunday.
The class action case was ignited by a December 2012 investigation of the Bakar Tnuva “Adom Adom” slaughterhouse in Beit She’an, in which Channel 2’s Kolbotek television program uncovered serious abuse of calves and sheep. In the investigation, which was led by Anonymous for Animal Rights activist Ronen Bar – who had implanted himself in the slaughterhouse – footage showed workers beating animals, electrocuting them and dragging them by their legs on to a forklift.
Following the airing of the program, concerned consumers Ruth Kolian and Perach Amzaleg submitted two approval requests for class action suits against Tnuva to the Jerusalem District Court and the Nazareth District Court. On January 1, 2013, the Nazareth District Court decided upon the transfer of discussion on the case to the Jerusalem District Court.
By October 21, 2013, the parties reported to the court that they had agreed to proceed with mediation, and eight days later, they announced that former High Court chief justice Meir Shamgar had agreed to act as mediator.
“The parties conducted a long and intensive mediation process, over the course of which mediation meetings occurred with the participation of representatives of both sides and meetings of Shamgar with each side separately,” said the settlement, which was submitted to the Jerusalem District Court on Sunday. “Ultimately, Shamgar succeeded in bringing the sides to a settlement agreement.”
Once the settlement receives court approval, Tnuva will need to pay NIS 2.7m. within 45 days to the organization Igul Letova, which will then redistribute the funds within six months to groups active in protecting animal rights, according to the settlement.
The company will also need to contribute NIS 1.5m. worth of food products during the years 2015-2016 to Latet, an organization that works to combat poverty in Israel. At least two-thirds of the contributions will need to take place during Rosh Hashana, Passover or one of the holidays celebrated by the Israeli Arab public, according to the settlement.
The settlement also calls for Tnuva to pay each of the two complainants NIS 60,000 and NIS 420,000 worth of legal fees. These payments will need to be transferred within 45 days of the settlement’s approval by the court.
“The settlement is fitting, fair and reasonable in considering the interests of the group members,” the settlement said.
“The conclusion of the settlement agreement procedure is an effective and fair way to resolve the dispute.”
In response to the settlement, the organizations Anonymous for Animal Rights and Let Animals Live explained that the class action case against Tnuva occurred as a result of the unwitting involvement of consumers as partners to abuse.
“There is a great reason that the compensation is through reparative action, which transforms them [Tnuva] into partners for animal protection on farms, by donating to organizations,” the groups said. “But after a series of severe exposure to animal food industries, the lesson to consumers should be to not believe the pastoral image sold by the industry, but to convert to a vegan diet, which is now cheap, available, healthy and accessible.”