The Northern District Prosecutor’s Office in collaboration with the Agriculture Ministry on Tuesday indicted four employees of the “Adom Adom” meat supplier for cruelty and causing bodily harm to animals.
The employees all worked at the Adom Adom factory in Beit She'an, and include the manager of the factory’s slaughterhouse, Eliyahu Sheetrit, aged 45, Bahah Darbashi, 33, and two outside contractors who worked at the slaughterhouse – Fadi Hadayari, 34, and Salah Fudi, 23.
The indictment, which was presented to the Nazareth Magistrate’s Court, reads that Sheetrit supplied the employees with an electric cattle prod, in order to help them move the calves and sheep down the slaughter line. The indictment says that the employees used the cattle prod without proper reason and caused pain and suffering to calves and sheep, in particular through applying the pod to the testicles and other sensitive areas of the animals, including the face.
The prod was used against animals that had fallen or were under stress, and at times when they were physically incapable of moving, the indictment states.
In addition, on a number of occasions the employees beat the animals with wooden rods and plastic hoses, mainly on their backs but also to the head, according to the indictment.
The indictment follows a hidden camera report on the Reshet program “Kolbotek” in December 2012, which showed the use of the prod and sticks by workers at the Beit She’an factory. That report, which caused a sensation in the Israeli media, led to protest and calls for consumer boycotts, and spurred police and the Environmental Protection Ministry to launch an investigation about Tnuva, which owns Adom Adom.
According to the Kolbotek report, which also showed workers using forklifts to drag animals by the legs, abuse was rampant at the site.
The indictments alleged that Fudi also punched animals in the stomach, and also sat on the backs of sheep and hit them in the head with a stick.