Animal rights activists rushed to a busy Brooklyn intersection on Friday where hundreds of chickens were abandoned after falling from a delivery truck, Animal Care Centers in New York City said.
About 300 Cornish Cross caged chickens were discovered on Flushing Ave. and Williamsburg St. in South Williamsburg around 11:15 a.m., a spokesperson for Animal Care Centers said.
The animal welfare organization believes the chickens were intended for use in the Orthodox Jewish ritual known as Kaporos.
Kaporos is performed by swinging a chicken around the head three times while reciting a prayer for forgiveness before slitting the chicken’s throat. The practice is done on the eve of Yom Kippur, the holiest day in the Jewish calendar.
The slaughterhouse owner responsible for transporting the chickens refused to rescue them, said Katy Hansen of Animal Care Centers.
At the intersection, animal rights activists found 30 dead chickens and rescued 253. Fourteen chickens were being treated at a veterinary hospital, Hansen said.
It is estimated that between 50,000 and 100,000 chickens are sacrificed each year during Kaporos.
“Many chickens die from exposure, dehydration and malnutrition as they sit outside without access to food or water, even waiting before anyone uses them for the Kaporos ritual,” Hansen said.
Animal rights activists have advocated for years for an end to the annual Kaporos ritual.
Last Year The Alliance To End Chickens as Kaporos sought to revive legal action against the city’s health department which said the custom as practiced on public streets in Brooklyn and elsewhere is a health risk during the coronavirus pandemic.