Live kaparos will be continuing in New York City, at least for now, as a Manhattan Appellate court affirmed a lower court’s decision that refused to ban the practice because of claims that it is cruel and unsanitary.
As previously reported on VIN News, Supreme Court Justice Debra James ruled in 2015 that the Alliance to End Chickens as Kaparos did not present proof that the ritual was inhumane or a public nuisance.
While that earlier decision did not acknowledge that kaporos was constitutionally protected as a religious ritual, today’s 3-2 ruling upheld the practice on religious grounds. According to the New York Post, Judge Judith Gische wrote a majority opinion that said animal sacrifice is recognized by the United States Supreme Court “as a religious sacrament.”
Judge Gische also wrote that the plaintiffs appeared to be more interested in securing a particular outcome than in enforcing the law.
Writing for the minority, Judge Ellen Gesmer called on authorities to further investigate the matter to see if any violations were taking place in the way the chickens are handled both during, and in the days leading up to, kaparos.
The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaparos vowed to continue the legal battle, noting that the fact that two out of five justices in the Appellate court disagreed with the ruling opened the door to escalating the case to the New York State Court of Appeals.
“The battle continues,” read a post on the group’s Facebook page. “Stay tuned.”