The Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel was a pioneer in raising public awareness of the welfare of animals and their rights, and of the Society’s fight against cruelty, abuse and exploitation of animals in research, education and the food, entertainment and fashion industries. The SPCA is still an active and pivotal partner in these important struggles today
Animals in agriculture for industry
The Society is opposed to the manner in which animals are raised for the food industry, among them cows, pigs and chickens. Egg-laying hens are raised in harsh conditions in tiny cages, deprived of all their basic natural needs. These chickens suffer from overcrowding, starvation, injury from the cage wires, aggressiveness, violence, distress, beak-trimming, genetic deformities, exaggerated egg production, boredom, fear of humans and death at a young age. Raising awareness towards the consumption of free range eggs will save millions of chickens from dwelling in cruel conditions and suffering intolerable abuse.
Wholesale & cruel slaughter of newly hatched chicks
The Society is opposed to the repulsive practice carried out in many chicken coops of disposing of thousands of day-old chicks, mostly male, which are not needed for egg laying or other uses. Instead of getting rid of them humanely, with a minimum of pain, these chicks are collected and thrown alive into the garbage where they are eaten by predators or die a slow death from hot temperatures and a lack of food and water.
The slaughter of egg-laying hens
The Society is opposed to the current methods of elimination of egg-laying hens at the end of their lives, including throwing them into the garbage while still alive, bashing them to death or running them over with tractors. On the way to the slaughterhouse they undergo a great deal of suffering due to overcrowding in their cages, and mostly arrive with broken bones all over their bodies.
The Society is opposed to the shipping of live animals to Israel. On their journey to Israel, by air or sea, the animals suffer intolerable conditions of overcrowding, starvation and poor hygiene. The animals that survive the journey are taken to quarantine and then to the slaughterhouse, suffering violence and electric shocks. This is cruel abuse which, though sanctioned by law, disregards the incomprehensible suffering of the animals.
Primitive ceremonies of idol worshippers
The Society is opposed to the ritualistic and primitive customs that are still practiced today. Those who describe the yearly “Kapparot” ceremony of slaughtering thousands of chickens for Yom Kippur and the sacrifice of sheep for Easter as part of “an exotic and interesting folklore,” are shutting their eyes to the cruelty involved.
The existence of these customs distorts the minds of the young children who take a passive or active part in them. For these youngsters, animals are not living, breathing creatures that feel pain and fear, but rather objects to which anything may be done. These children are liable to develop a bestial lust for killing and spilling blood, instead of learning the humane qualities of compassion and kindness.
It is important to note that the custom of “Kapparot” is not a divine commandment of Judaism; therefore, every devout Jew who wishes to observe it can do so by donating to charity instead. The slaughter of sheep for Passover is against Israeli law, which states that it is forbidden to slaughter animals anywhere other than a slaughterhouse that is authorized by the veterinary services.
Dissection of animals in schools
The Society is opposed to the use of live animals for the dissection of their bodies for the purposes of science education in schools. This aspect of biology courses causes denial in the students, dulls their feelings towards animals, and may even harm them emotionally. Today, the use of plastic models and other modern techniques have made the dissection of living animals completely unwarranted.
Use of animals for scientific research
The Society is opposed to the mass use of animals in research, which is in essence a type of legally sanctioned torture. In research centers around the world the tendency to use alternative techniques for research is on the rise, by employing methods that do not include experimentation on animals. These methods, which have been found to be more effective and, in many cases, less expensive, are acceptable to everyone with a conscience. The Society encourages and promotes the use of products that have not been tested on animals.
The Society is opposed to this cruel and cowardly sport which satisfies man’s most primitive instincts. This activity runs contrary to the spirit of Judaism, in particular, and humanity, in general.
The Society is opposed to this cruel industry in which masses of unprotected creatures are being raised in factory condition and circumstances that are completely unnatural for them, causing them indescribable suffering. This industry, intended for people with ‘extra money in their pockets’ but with absolutely no compassion in their hearts, reflects more than anything the selfishness of humans.
Force-feeding of geese for production of goose liver
The Society is opposed to the aggressive force feeding and fattening of geese, all in order to create a questionable culinary delicacy. Throughout their short lives the geese are kept in narrow cages without being able to move, so that they can be unnaturally fattened up. As a result of this, the goose livers become enlarged and the lives of the geese are full of suffering and pain. In 2005, the Israeli Supreme Court defined the force feeding of geese as a violation of the animal rights laws; however, goose livers are still being imported into the country.