Before Yom Kippur (the Jewish Day of Atonement), a subset of Orthodox Jews in New York City slaughtered an estimated 60,000 baby chickens as part of an annual ritual sacrifice called Kaporos. During the ritual, participants typically pin the chickens’ wings behind their backs and swing them around their heads three times while reciting a prayer to transfer their sins to the chickens, who they then deliver to makeshift slaughterhouses where butchers slice their throats.
In spite of the video footage of showing the Department of Sanitation hauling the dead chickens away after the ritual, ritual participants claim that the animals are donated to the poor. This year, activists for the first time discovered garbage bags filled with hundreds of chickens who weren’t used in the ritual sacrifice because they died of heat exhaustion, hunger and thirst in the crates in which they are intensively confined for several days leading up to the ritual.
Activists estimate that they saved several hundred chickens from the massacre. The survivors have been sent to sanctuaries around the country where they are receiving specialized care to rehabilitate them after the trauma of having been intensively confined in crates for several days with no food or water.
In 2015, The Alliance to Ban Chickens as Kaporos sued the NYC Department of Health and NYPD for failing to enforce the 15 public health, sanitation and anti-cruelty laws and regulations that are violated during Kaporos. The case is pending in New York’s Court of Appeals, the state’s highest court.
The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is raising money to pay for the long-term care of the rescued chickens and for the groundbreaking lawsuit against NYC for failing to enforce the laws that are broken by Kaporos practitioners. If you have the means, please contribute to the INDIEGOGO campaign, Justice for the Roses.