Federal Judge Blocks Ritual Animal Sacrifice

A federal judge granted a temporary restraining order (TRO) on behalf of plaintiff United Poultry Concerns that prohibits the ritual from being conducted this year by Chabad of Irvine.

The United States District Judge for the United States District Court for the Central District of California, Andre Birotte, Jr., previously served as U.S. Attorney for the Central District of California. Los Angeles animal rights activists are expecting law enforcement will now enforce state law against the killing of chickens in the name of religion. Key pleadings can be seen here: http://bryanpeaselaw.com/kapparot/. The TRO is the final document (#18).

“This is a first step in the ultimate goal to show that it is illegal in the state of California and most other states to intentionally kill an animal as punishment for your sins,” said Karen Davis, PhD, founder of UPC. The federal Kaporos lawsuit filed by San Diego attorneys Bryan W. Pease and David R. Simon on September 29, 2016 against Chabad of Irvine establishes that Kaporos violates California Penal Code 597(a) which prohibits “maliciously and intentionally” killing an animal.

"For more than 20 years, law enforcement agencies in the U.S. have mistakenly believed they cannot enforce basic animal cruelty laws against the religious sacrifice of animals. While states and local government are constitutionally prohibited from specifically targeting religion, laws that apply to everybody apply equally to those motivated by religion.” Pease added, "The California legislature knows how to create an exception for religion, as it has done for Kosher and Halal slaughter. However, there is no exception in the California Penal Code for intentionally killing an animal not for food and disposing of that animal, based on religious belief."

Davis said, ”I founded the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, a project of UPC, in 2010 after witnessing years of horrors. During Kaporos, certain Jewish practitioners wave chickens, held by their legs or wings pinned backward, around their heads while chanting verses about transferring their sins and punishment symbolically to the bird in the name of religion.” She added, “As more and more animal rights activists get involved, and with legal challenges in the works, many Orthodox rabbis are publicly condemning Kaporos on grounds of animal cruelty and sacrilege.”

Davis pointed out that many other laws are being violated at the Kaporos sites. “Some of the laws that are blatantly not enforced include animal nuisance laws which prohibit sellers of live poultry from leaving chicken blood, feces and feathers on the sidewalk and street,” she said. Davis added that it is illegal to pile up dead animals on the street prior to their disposal. Photos exist of thousands of dead chickens awaiting disposal in trash trucks in major U.S. cities, including Los Angeles and New York. Davis added, “The chickens need mercy from us. We ask Kaporos observers to show mercy and use money instead of chickens.”

About UPC

Founded in 1990 by Karen Davis, United Poultry Concerns is the world's foremost non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the respectful treatment of domestic fowl. To learn more about UPC, please visit www.upc-online.org, Facebook and twitter @upcnews and @kindkaporos.

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