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For Immediate Release
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Activists Plan Brooklyn Rally to
Protest Chickens in Kaporos Rituals

Brooklyn – September 23, 2014 – The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is hosting three two-hour protests in New York’s Crown Heights in response to the inhumane “swinging” and slaughtering of chickens in Kaporos rituals the week before Yom Kippur (October 3) – the Jewish Day of Atonement. The protesters plan to assemble at 792 Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, NY 11213 (corner of Kingston Ave.) at the following times.

-- Tuesday, Sept 30: 6 pm to 8 pm
-- Wednesday, Oct 1: 6 pm to 8 pm
-- Thursday, Oct 2: 6 pm to 8 pm

During Kaporos, some Jewish practitioners in New York, as well as Los Angeles, Lakewood, NJ, Miami, Jerusalem and elsewhere, 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 2010, I founded the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos, a project of United Poultry Concerns (UPC), after witnessing years of Kaporos horrors,” said Karen Davis, PhD, who also founded UPC. “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.”

The fact that the sale and slaughter of chickens during Kaporos is connected to a religious ritual does not make it exempt from local and state laws. In fact, many laws are being broken in New York even as police stand by. Davis said although New York State Anti-Cruelty Law Article 26 requires animals to have fresh food, water and protection from the weather, chickens used for Kaporos are held for days in transport crates stacked on the streets, trapped in their own waste with no water or food.

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. Last year, witnesses reported seeing dead chickens on the public streets, as well as an uncovered dumpster containing chickens.

Brooklyn resident Rina Deych said, “Every year, I see chickens thrown into dumpsters. Not just the dead ones but also birds who are dying of dehydration, injury, exhaustion and pain. We have obtained footage of live chickens writhing on the ground with their throats cut and being thrown into plastic garbage bags by Kaporos butchers in Brooklyn.”

Davis pointed to the New York law that says, “People who enter any premises containing live poultry within the State of New York shall take every sanitary precaution possible to prevent the introduction or spread of avian influenza into or within the State.” This law includes disinfecting of all footwear before entering and after leaving any premises containing live poultry. “All sites we observed were filthy,” said Davis. “There were dead chickens, blood and feathers on the sidewalk. People entering Kaporos areas, where thousands of chickens were sold, left without disinfecting footwear and carried chicken feces outside of the Kaporos area.”

This year, as in 2013, Brooklyn protests will feature moving illuminated billboards on a van projecting the voice of Hasidic Rabbi Yonassan Gershom explaining why suspending chickens by their wings is cruel and why using chickens for Kaporos violates the Torah mandate to show compassion to animals. In Kaporos: A Heartfelt Plea for Mercy, Rabbi Gershom implores: “Please do not torture a bird this way – this is not a mitzvah, our Torah does not require this, it will not cancel your sins. I beg you, please give money, instead of hurting one of God’s living creatures.”

Davis says, “The chickens need mercy from us. We ask Kaporos observers to show mercy and use money instead of chickens.”

To learn more about the Alliance, please go to Visit, Facebook and twitter @upcnews and @kindkaporos.

Press contact:
Susan Tellem, APR, RN. BSN
Tellem Grody PR, Inc.
310-313-3444 x1

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