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NYC Health Commissioner Says She Will Continue to Allow Orthodox Jewish Animal Sacrifice Despite Health Code Violations, Reports of E. coli, and Current Measles Outbreak in Same Community

April 11, 2019 by Leave a Comment

The News

During a public health forum held at the City University of New York on April 1st, 2019, NYC Health Commissioner Dr. Oxiris Barbot stated that she would continue to allow a mass animal sacrifice that takes place in Hasidic Jewish communities before Yom Kippur.  Dr. Barbot delivered the remarks in response to an audience member who asked if the Department of Health would begin to enforce the health codes violated during the sacrifice, called Kaporos, in light of the reports of E. coli infection and a measles outbreak in the same community. 

“In our work addressing public health issues in a number of different communities, we take an approach that matches the intervention to the degree that people are getting sick,” said Dr. Barbot. “I don’t see us making any change in our current practice in that area.” 

Advocates say that Dr. Barbot’s response, which did not acknowledge the health code violations or the reports of E. coli, affirmed their fears that the Health Department will continue to wait for a disease outbreak to occur before enforcing the seven health codes that are violated.

During Kaporos, the blood, feces and body parts of thousands of chickens contaminate the streets of the same Hasidic Jewish neighborhoods that are now experiencing a measles outbreak. The Kaporos ritual violates 7 city health codes.

In response to Dr. Barbot’s remarks and her announcement that the City was declaring a public health emergency due to the measles outbreak, numerous public health and animal welfare advocates staged an impromptu rally at City Hall to draw attention to the City’s ongoing refusal to take measures to prevent the outbreak of another potentially lethal disease in the same community – an outbreak that would likely spread outside of the Hasidic communities where the public slaughter takes place. ABC News reported on the advocates’ rally as part of its coverage of the measles outbreak. Following is an excerpt:

For the past 1.5 years, public health and animal welfare advocates have protested Dr. Barbot and other city health officials over their refusal to enforce the multiple health codes violated during Kaporos. During the ritual, an estimated 60,000 chickens are trucked into Brooklyn, held outdoors in crates for up to a week and killed in approximately 30 open air slaughterhouses erected without permits on residential streets. The blood, feces and body parts of the chickens contaminate the sidewalks and streets during the ritual and in the days that follow, exposing New Yorkers to E. coli, coliform and other pathogens and toxins, according to a renowned toxicologist who collected samples on behalf of area residents suing the DOH and NYPD over their failure to enforce the health codes. 

In spite of the toxicology report outlining the public health risks associated with Kaporos, ultra-Orthodox Jewish children work in makeshift slaughterhouses erected for the annual ritual sacrifice without any protection against disease.

In his report, the toxicologist, Dr. Michael McCabe, concluded, “The first-hand observations that I made during my September 21st 2015 Kaporos inspection as well as the photographs that I took and test results confirming high bacterial contamination and unsanitary conditions confirm and strengthen my opinion that within a reasonable degree of professional certainty the Kaporos activities taking place in the subject locations constitute a dangerous condition and pose a significant public health hazard.”

Mayor de Blasio’s Health Commissioner, Dr. Oxiris Barbot, has refused to address or acknowledge the toxicology report that outlines the public health risks posed by the mass slaughter of 60,000 animals on residential streets during Kaporos.

“Mayor de Blasio instructs the Department of Health to defend Kaporos and the health code violations because the Hasidic practitioners of the ritual comprise a powerful voting bloc,” said Donny Moss, an organizer of the Kaporos protests. “But the gravity of the current measles outbreak begs the question — Is the de Blasio administration going to wait for the outbreak of another disease in the Hasidic community before it enforces the City’s own health codes?”

During the past two years, several non-Orthodox people who were exposed to the chickens contracted E. coli.  Two of them spoke out during a press conference at City Hall.

Advocates speculate that many Kaporos practitioners also become sick each year due to their exposure to sick and dying chickens, but do not report it.

“Apart from the extraordinary risk at which the Mayor and Health Commissioner are placing New York’s residents, the City faces enormous liability should someone become sick or even die as a result of Kaporos,” said Bonnie Klapper, an attorney advising the advocates. “The financial cost, which would be borne by all New Yorkers in the advent of a money judgement, should certainly compel the City to enforce its own health laws.” 

Comments via Facebook Comments

  1. Rabbi Glickman says:

    Charlene; your comments proves the points made by others Jews who post here. You are an Anti-Semite. You belong in ISIS. Go back to where you belong. I hope you didn’t have children for the sake of humanity.

  2. Charlene says:

    Leave your fake anti semantic card out of it. Most of you are all from Caucasus Mountains with mongoloid Turkic blood. I know all about white looking Jews in Israel chanting kushum go home to blacks, refusing blood from black donors, forcing Ethiopian women on birth control in Israel. Promoting race mixing and diversity for everyone but Jews and Israel. THE ANTI SEMANTIC CARD DOES NOT WORK FOR ME MR. BERNSTEIN
    You have no right breaking laws in the country in which you free load off of.
    Oh I forgot to mention to you the Bolsheviks killing Christians the holodomor well Jewish crimes go clear to the sky. Owning our government as a way to get by with whatever your fake privileged tribe thinks they should get by with. No Mr. Bernstein I know all about your crimes.

  3. Bob Bernstein says:

    Cathy Hinchie

    The Protest are indeed Anti-Semitic. Have you ever been to one? These protesters call us dirty Jews and yell at our children and compare us to hitler. You have no idea what we teach our children so please your drama is deplorable. This is why the city has to spend money on NYPD and barriers to protect Jews from this hate-filled groups. I am aware that people don’t like animal sacrifice but in the US it’s 100% permitted as the courts rule. Because some people are against it, doesn’t mean others can’t practice it. I don’t like abortion but people can do that? I don’t approve of Gay Marriage but thats ok? If you don’t want to live in a country where you have freedom don’t live in the US.

  4. Cathy Hinchie says:

    Evil done in the name of religion is repugnant. The protests are not anti-Semitic-they are anti cruelty. Stop whinging about your children suffering from insults- you bring them to the disgusting slaughter and teach them to have no compassion. I have seen kids laughing at the distress of dying animals.

  5. Bob Bernstein says:

    This an bigot Propaganda article. Measles have nothing to do with Kaparot And there Health Department and courts already concluded there is no harm in the ceremony nor illegal. If you don’t like it don’t participate. Seems like you are still upset at your court case and blaming Jews for you loss. This is just another article claiming Orthodox Jews and the government are in cahoots by a radical Jew-Hater. This is a sad day when the same propaganda the Hitler used comes back. Shame on you Donny Moss. This belongs on Gab or the most updated version of Mein Kampf.

  6. Donny Moss says:

    Tens of thousands are thrown in the trash in Crown Heights. In Williamsburg, we have seen some of the chickens brought into a processing facility. We don’t know if those are dumped, donated or sold. Regardless of what happens to the chickens, the ritual and the slaughter violate 7 City Health codes, which can lead to the spread of disease, according to a toxicologist who was hired to collect samples of the blood and feces left in the streets. People who contracted E. Coli went to City Hall, but the City has ignored them.

  7. Mary Cooper says:

    Do they eat the chickens?

  8. heather says:

    could someone post a link to the division of the public health department code enforcement governing this area, please?

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