Knesset c’tee nixes Agriculture Ministry regulations for Yom Kippur chicken ritual

The Knesset Economic Affairs Committee has rejected new directives issued by the Ministry of Agriculture for regulating the custom of kapparot, a practice conducted before Yom Kippur and in which a live chicken is ritually lofted over a person’s head before being slaughtered.

United Torah Judaism MK Uri Maklev threatened during the hearing that if the regulations were upheld his party would topple the government, while committee chairman and Zionist Union MK Eitan Cabel said that the new regulations were overly stringent and would, if implemented, prevent the performance of the kapparot ritual.

The custom has become increasingly controversial as animal rights groups have argued that the ritual entails significant suffering to the birds, including being left for hours and even days in small cages, frequently without food and water, and often outside in the sun.


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