Israel’s Largest Slaughter House Shuts Down and New Mexico Farm Workers Faced with Criminal Charges

Two huge accomplishments prove yet again the vital importance of undercover investigations

Two serious victories were recently made against the meat and dairy industries, exposing extreme levels of abuse towards animals and raising much needed awareness. In Israel, the largest slaughter house has been temporarily shut down by the Israeli Ministry of Agriculture pending enquiry, while in New Mexico, four dairy farm workers have been charged with a total of nine counts of criminal cruelty to animals. In both cases, actions were taken following undercover investigations lead by animal rights organizations.

Criminal charges on the account of animal abuse

Following a brave undercover investigation conducted by the American animal rights organization, Mercy for Animals, which exposed extreme animal abuse, four New Mexico farm workers employed by Winchester Dairy have been charged with a total of nine counts of criminal cruelty to animals.

The secret video footage shows horrifying, inhumane abuse, including (but not limited to) workers viciously kicking and punching cows, stabbing them with screwdrivers, violently whipping them in their faces and bodies with chains and metal wires, and dragging “downer” cows who were too sick or injured to stand with a tractor while workers shocked them in the genitals with electric prods. You can watch the footage here but before you hit play, please be aware that it is extremely cruel.

Undercover footage from Israel’s largest slaughter house

In Israel, a shocking undercover investigation of one of the country’s largest slaughter houses made it into the national news. This brought about the decision to shut it down until the various issues exposed in the investigation have been dealt with.

The investigation was led by local animal rights organization, Anonymous for Animal Rights. They exposed various acts of horrendous abuse routinely committed by the slaughter house workers, some of which included using electric prods on the animals’ faces to shock them into moving from one place to the other, beating lambs, and killing animals one in front of the other so that they can clearly see what is going on. One of the most surprising findings of the undercover investigation was the fact that calves and lambs, after having their throats slit, still got up and tried to escape from their tormentors. This raises serious concerns regarding the cruelty of Jewish slaughter; many voices are now being heard in Israel, asking how it is possible that such cruelty still receives the ’kosher’ stamp. To see some of the footage from the investigation, click here; again, please be aware that the images are highly disturbing.


In both Israel and New Mexico, law enforcement was presented with the video evidence immediately after it was recorded, along with an official complaint, outlining the obvious violations of anti-cruelty-laws. However, it is not just the individual workers who are to blame in these cases—there has long been a culture of cruelty present in factory farms and slaughter houses. The larger companies are responsible for creating clear and defined boundaries around what actions are considered abusive, and ensuring swift and severe consequences when those boundaries are violated.

A serious concern we should be aware of

It is clear that the temporary shutdown of the Israeli slaughter house and the charges against the New Mexico farm workers would not have happened if it was not for the undercover investigations and footage that the animal rights organizations have produced. Sadly though, there is one black cloud on the horizon, which could create a barrier to all of these valuable efforts:

The ‘ag-gag’ laws are anti-whistle blower laws that have been pushed forward by the meat, egg and dairy industries through legislators, lobbyers and politicians across the USA. If these laws are passed, undercover filming and photography on factory farms without owner consent would become illegal. This will allow the industries to press criminal charges against animal rights activists who expose abuse. This will, of course, pose a huge threat to the work of animal rights activists, who rely on these methods to obtain evidence in order to press charges against abusers, and also as a tool for raising awareness.

Furthermore, a successful legislation of these laws in the States could be a catalyst for these laws to be introduced in other countries around the globe, like Israel and New Mexico, making undercover investigations and accomplishments such as the ones we have seen in the last two months, virtually impossible.

If you live in a state that currently has or is attempting to push ‘ag-gag’ legislation, please call or write to your state legislatures voicing your concerns. We cannot stay silent – the animals need us.

Cover Image: Shutterstock. Modification: TVW.

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Maria Mooney, MSW, LSW, is a raw vegan licensed social worker, certified holistic health coach, research and editorial assistant at Visit Maria's website to learn more, and follow her on Twitter @HappyHealing44