The crocodile verdict. HCJ 1684/96 Let the Animals Live v. Hamat Gader Holiday Factories. The precedent-setting judgment, and the central rule that determines the interpretation of the Animal Welfare Act. In the background of the verdict, a show described as a “crocodile-man battle”, but was actually a series of manipulations by a man in a crocodile, that caused the crocodile distress, and sent the audience a message of human control over wildlife. The Magistrates Court issued, at the request of Let the Animals Live, an order banning the show. The ruling was overturned by the District Court, and the case came as part of a request for permission to appeal to the Supreme Court. In the ruling, handed down by Judge Hashin, the court first interprets the abuse ban in the Animal Welfare Act of 1994. The court rules that abuse takes place wherever a person causes suffering to an animal without justification – even if the suffering is not severe. The justification is examined in accordance with the tests of proportionality. In order to actually be a cashed-in value, which excludes it from abuse, a proper purpose must be presented, a reasonable relationship between the purpose and the fact and to show that there are no less offensive means of achieving the same purpose. In addition, it is forbidden to cause suffering that is disproportionate in its severity in relation to the purpose we are trying to achieve. In order to convict a person of criminal abuse, it must also be shown that he was aware that he was causing suffering to an animal – there is no need for special purpose, sadistic motive, and so on. Applying these tests to the show, the court ruled that it amounted to abuse, and was against the law: viewer entertainment does not justify causing suffering to animals.

Rabies quarantine petitions. HCJ 4210/00 Nagar v. Tel Aviv District Health Bureau; HCJ 5654/00 Kaushansky v. Dr. Nadel; HCJ 6207/01 Avant v. Dr. Nadel. As early as 2000, Let the Animals Live petitioned in a series of cases against the quarantine of a dog who bit. The petitions were rejected after they became non-actual, as the quarantine days were over and the dog was released. The association continued to fight the automatic quarantine method, and advanced bills on the matter. In 2016, after Kaya, the adopted dog of Prime Minister Netanyahu’s family, bit Knesset member Sharan Hachal, the government began promoting a legislative amendment that would allow home observation instead of quarantine.

The Cats HCJ. HCJ 4884/00 Let the Animals Live v. Veterinary Services Administration. The verdict in this petition put an end to the mass extermination of community cats. The court struck down a procedure for the veterinary services for the treatment of feral cats, stating that a mere nuisance, which does not amount to a “serious and severe harm to the welfare of society, with a high degree of certainty” cannot justify euthanize cats or inflict considerable suffering on them. In other situations, measures that are less than killing should be preferred. In addition, it was established that although the authority veterinarians can be assisted in performing their duties by private entities, discretion should remain in their hands. The court has ruled out the manner that the veterinary services used a company called Cat Protector, which dealt with collecting and executing community cats.

Tashingal HCJ. HCJ 1096/01 Let the Animals Live v. Attorney General. In the background of the petition, a man named Tashingal was recorded holding a pigeon over the navel of a man, who was shown as a jaundice patient, and choking her. He claimed that he thought it was a virtue for healing. He was prosecuted, but the Attorney General delayed proceedings against him (the practical meaning of delaying proceedings was the dismissal of the charge). Let the Animals Live petitioned against delaying proceedings, however the Supreme Court does not tend to interfere in decisions of such kind by the Attorney General, and rejected the petition.

The Malish Affair. HCJ 5711/02 The Association for Moral Science v. Council for Animal Experimentation. The petition (Let the Animals Live Is the Third Petitioner) is directed against a cruel and unnecessary experiment in four monkeys at the Hebrew University. Horrific images from the experiment were uncovered by a student who worked in the lab, and can be viewed here. In the face of a factual dispute between the parties, which the Supreme Court could not decide, the issue was transferred to the framework of the mechanism set out in the Animal Testing Law. Although the legal process dissolved, the experiment itself was discontinued due to the exposure. Three of the four monkeys survived, were released from the lab and transferred to rehabilitation.

The ATLS HCJ. HCJ 9374/02 Let the Animals Live v. Chief Medical Officer. The petition was directed against the use of live dogs in a course to practice the treatment of trauma victims. The course was transferred in a military setting, but was also intended for civilian surgeons. The use of dogs in these courses is problematic, in part, because the dog’s body structure is completely different from the human’s body structure. Thus, for example, Dr. Yosef’s letter was attached to the petition, stating that “about a week after the laboratory was carried out, during the ongoing treatment of an attack victim, I inserted a chest drain due to PNEUMOTH0RAX, from which the injured person suffered. My unequivocal conclusion after the drain was introduced is that the drain was successfully inserted not thanks to the early practice but despite this practice. Due to the existing anatomical differences between dogs and humans, there is no connection between the early practice and the technical skill it supposedly provides, and the one actually required.” If this is not enough, in the US a doll used as a simulator for the human body has been introduced for use in these courses, through which the practice has been proven to be more effective than the practice in live dogs. The doll has been officially recognized as an alternative to the use of live dogs, and has been used to train hundreds of surgical doctors each month. However, in response to the petition, Prof. Rivkind, who is in charge of the course, argued that “working on (sedated) dogs provides a number of advantages, which cannot exist in the doll (at this stage), which are: outbreak of hot blood, a feeling of pulse and breathing and a feeling of living skin, as well as the emotional feeling of treating a living body with a heart and breathing.”  The court did not want to interfere in the professional dispute over the effectiveness of the simulator, and rejected the petition. After the petition was rejected, and due to pressure from doctors, the simulator was put into use, and the practice in dogs was stopped. According to the information we have, the Medical Corps currently (2017) uses sophisticated simulators in its trainings, but also animals. There are also courses outside the Medical Corps, which practice treating trauma victims through state-of-the-art simulators.

The Transport Regulations HCJ. HCJ 1662/03 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. This petition had two aspects: First, the association demanded that the Minister of Agriculture will install regulations under the Animal Welfare Law regarding the transportation of animals. Second, the organization demanded to stop the live shipments of lambs and calves from Australia, intended for slaughtering in Israel (sometimes after a period of fattening). Following the petition, the Ministry of Agriculture renewed its handling of the installation of the regulations, and in 2006 regulations were installed regarding the transportation of cattle, sheep and pigs. In addition, a fundamental change has been made in the way animals come from Australia to Israel. The petition placed great emphasis on the severe abuse of animals which were unloaded in the port of Aqaba, waited for long hours in the blazing sun at the border crossing near Eilat, and were transferred at the border crossing from Jordanian trucks to Israeli trucks using great violence. Following the petition, the delivery route was changed, and the unloading of the animals was transferred to the port of Eilat. In view of these achievements, the court deleted the petition, imposing real expenses on the state, which did what it did following the filing of the petition. Ten years later, the association had petitioned once again against the live shipments.

HCJ 5990/03 Let the Animals Live v. State Attorney’s Office. In the background of the petition was a business called “Protector for the Cat” that collected and killed community cats. The Attorney’s Office prosecuted whoever operated the business. However, after the criminal case was conducted and reached almost a verdict, the Attorney’s Office deleted the indictment. The deletion was made on the grounds that in another case, which was conducted in the High Court, the State Attorney’s Office defended the use of authority veterinarians in the “services” of that very same business. Let the Animals Live Petitioned Against the Deletion of the Indictment, but the court rejected the petition because only in rare cases does it interfere with the decisions of the State Attorney’s Office and forces it to conduct a criminal case that it does not want to conduct. As part of the second petition filed by Let the Animals Live, it was determined that cats should not be put to death only on the grounds that they constituted a nuisance, and that the use made by municipal veterinary services in the “services” of “Protector for the Cat” was illegal.

The First Mazor HCJ. HCJ 9637/03 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Environmental Protection. A petition against the import of monkeys from Mauritius to Mazor Farm – a farm that dealt with the breeding of monkeys and their sale for experiments in laboratories in Israel and abroad. In the petition, we showed that the import of monkeys contradicts the policy announced by Israel to the parties of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES). Following the petition, instead of halting imports, the state notified the parties to the CITES Convention on softening the strict conditions for the trade in monkeys with the State of Israel. The High Court rejected the petition, because the import of the monkeys met the conditions of the softened new policy.

The Holding Regulations HCJ. HCJ 9926/03 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. In this petition, Let the Animals Live demanded that the Minister of Agriculture will install regulations under the Animal Welfare Law regarding the conditions of possession of animals in animal stores, in municipal pens, in petting zoos, in shelters, in private homes, and so on. The petition prompted the regulations installation process. The Legal Advisor of the Knesset Education Committee assembled a team that worked on the drafting of the regulations, and was attended by government representatives, veterinarians and representatives of organizations. About six years after the petition was filed, it came to a successful end with the installation of the Animal Welfare Regulations (animal protection) (holding not for agricultural purposes), 2009. These regulations are still a key tool for the implementation of the Animal Welfare Law.

The Dangerous Dogs HCJ. HCJ 6976/04 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. In this petition, Let the Animals Live asked that the court overturn a series of restrictive arrangements in relation to dogs of breeds deemed dangerous. There is no dangerous breed of dogs, we argued, but dangerous humans. In other words: it is not the artificial classification of breeds but the history of caring for the dog and his training that determines his temperament and behavior, and may make him dangerous. The court ruled that the arrangement under which a dog can be defined as dangerous on the basis of his breed is an arrangement enshrined in the law itself, and the High Court rarely interferes with the laws legislated by the Knesset. Although we have brought expert opinions and evidence to the court that the definition of a dog as dangerous based on its breed is arbitrary, the court has indicated that there is also opposing evidence, and legislative arrangements in other countries that also rely on the classification of dogs according to their breeds. This is a scientific dispute, in which the Authority may choose a position. In light of this, the petition has been rejected.

The Disengagement HCJ. HCJ 7707/05 Let the Animals Live v. Administration for Assistance to the Settlers of Gaza and northern Samaria. The petition concerned the assistance of animals abandoned following the evacuation of the settlements as part of the “disengagement plan”. Following the petition, practical arrangements were established to allow animal protection organizations to reach the area, evacuate animals and find solutions for them.

The enforcing of a ban on fattening of waterfowls HCJ. HCJ 7713/05 Noah – Israeli Association of Animal Protection Organizations v. Attorney General. This petition (in which Let the Animals Live was the third petitioner) required the authorities to enforce the prohibition on the fattening of waterfowls, in accordance with a previous ruling by the court. After the Ministry of Agriculture failed to advance a bill that would override the High Court ruling, the state notified the court of an outline for enforcing the fattening ban – albeit belatedly. The court reprimanded the state for ignoring the first ruling, and in light of the framework for enforcing it (albeit belatedly) rejected the petition, while charging the state and the breeders with the expenses.

Parade of the beasts HCJ. HCJ 9178/06 Let the Animals Live v. Israel Police. A petition against the police license granted to the “March of the Beasts” planned against the Jerusalem Gay Pride Parade. The court rejected the petition due to the importance of freedom to demonstrate and on the basis of an assessment that the animals, which will be used in the “parade of the beasts”, will not suffer. The court stressed that the demonstrators should be expected to adhere to the Animal Welfare Act. It should be noted that in another case, the veterinary services of the Jerusalem Municipality seized, for reasons of animal cruelty, animals that were exploited for the sake of the “Parade of the Beasts”.

The Second Mazor HCJ. HCJ 2351/12 Let the Animals Live v. Israel Nature and Parks Authority. A petition to prevent Mazor Farm from exporting to experiment laboratories, female monkeys hunted in Mauritius and imported to Israel in order to serve as a “breeding nucleus”. Mazor Farm presented itself as a monkey breeding facility, which uses female monkeys born in nature only as a primary breeding nucleus. Only the second-generation monkeys, born in the farm, were supposed to be sent for experiments in labs after being separated from their families. And here, it turned out that the farm intends to export for experiments also the mothers born in nature! Following the petition, the planned shipment was halted, and it was determined that the farm was not permitted to export for experiments the female monkeys born in nature. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=3543

The Pigs HCJ. HCJ 3393/12 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. Petition to install regulations regarding how pigs are kept in the pork industry in Israel. In Israel, about 200,000 pigs are slaughtered each year for meat production. The pigs, highly intelligent creatures, with great curiosity and rich social life, are kept in cramped, polluted, and stimuli-free pens. The breeding method includes: holding sows for long periods in cells that do not allow any movement, castration of male piglets, and cutting the tail and teeth of each piglet. The mortality of piglets in the industry is extremely high, and the surviving piglets are separated from their mothers at a young age. Following the petition, the Ministry of Agriculture installed the requested regulations. Although these are some of the most advanced regulations in the world, the great suffering in the industry continues.  More on the struggle to install regulations on pig keeping: https://www.letlive.org.il/?article=%D7%A9%D7%A0%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%97%D7%96%D7%99%D7%A8

The First Spaying/Neutering HCJ. HCJ 4238/12 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. The petition is concerned with the annual budget of NIS 4.5 million allocated under an amendment to the Animal Welfare Law to reduce the breeding of stray animals. As part of a Freedom of Information Act petition filed by the association several years after the amendment came into force, it became clear that the funds were not fully allocated, that the procedures required for their allocation were not properly performed, and that some of the funds were allocated for purposes that are foreign to the issue of reducing the breeding of stray animals. In light of this, the petition was submitted to the High Court. Following the petition, the state regulated the proceedings for allocating the funds, and they are intended solely for the spaying and neutering of cats in the streets. However, the association had to petition the High Court two more times, in order to ensure the regular allocation of the budget. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=3536

Painted Fish HCJ. HCJ 6932/12 Let the Animals Live v. Chief Fisheries Officer. Petition against imports of fish that have been tattooed or painted. This terrible practice is one of the aspects of the cruel but forgotten industry of trading fish designed to be used as decoration (“ornamental fish”). Following the petition, the regulations were amended in such a way that the sale of fish in Israel was prohibited, if they were artificially dyed or tattooed, and a condition was introduced for the import licenses of fish intended for decoration, which prohibits the import of fish that have undergone these procedures. More on the subject and on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=3375; https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=3923

The Rabbit Symbol HCJ. HCJ 8826/12 Let the Animals Live v. Ministry of Health. A petition against a directive issued by the Ministry of Health to cosmetic companies not to use the rabbit symbol, which indicates that the company does not conduct animal experiments, either by itself or through others, and does not use raw materials tested in animals after a certain date. Following the petition, the Ministry of Health announced that there was no impediment for the companies to use the rabbit symbol, and that the responsibility for the criteria for using the symbol was that of the animal protection organizations. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=3770

Red-Red HCJ. HCJ 8976/12 Anonymous – Animal Rights Association v. Director of Veterinary Services. This petition (Let the Animals Live is the second petitioner) was filed after Anonymous exposed severe abuse at Tnuva’s Red-Red Slaughterhouse. The slaughterhouse workers systematically electrocuted calves, beat calves and lambs, dragged calves unable to walk on the ground, hanged animals in the air while conscious, after slitting their throats, and abused the animals in many other ways – all as a method of work. Although the petition did not result in the closure of the slaughterhouse, following the petition the veterinary services issued a mandatory procedure for slaughterhouses, which adopts accepted standards around the world, and ordered the installation of surveillance cameras in slaughterhouses. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=3694

HCJ 2675/13 State of Israel v. Hanun. A request to join as friends of the court in a criminal appeal concerning the acquittal due to the doubt of a person accused of fattening waterfowls after the prohibition came into force.

Nordia Chicks HCJ. HCJ 7408/14 Let the Animals Live v. Ministry of Agriculture. A petition against a lenient plea deal with “Nordia” hatchery, after it dumped live chicks to a slow and tormented death in a garbage container. Every year, hatcheries in Israel kill millions of chicks that hatched disabled or damaged or are male chicks of species intended for laying eggs. The law requires shredding the chicks or crushing them in machines that cause rapid death. In Nordia they were thrown in the trash to die slowly. Despite the severe abuse of soft and helpless creatures, Attorney Jeris Gantos, the Prosecutor for the Ministry of Agriculture, settled for a plea deal that imposes the symbolic penalty of a fine of only NIS 15,000 on the hatchery. Let the Animals Live petitioned against the plea deal, which was described also by the Attorney General as excessively lenient. However, the Attorney General requested that the Supreme Court will not intervene in the deal, which indeed left to the court that discussed the case the decision whether to accept the plea deal. The court that discussed the case accepted the plea deal, and the hatchery was fined only NIS 15,000 for her actions. However, in light of the case, it was determined that plea deals that do not include a prison sentence would be transferred in time to the attorney general’s attention, so that the Attorney General could intervene in them. It was also determined that animal protection organizations should be heard regarding such plea deals.

More on the affair: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=4168. To the Facebook page of one of the chicks rescued from the bin: https://www.facebook.com/%D7%A4%D7%A8%D7%95%D7%97%D7%99-%D7%94%D7%A2%D7%9E%D7%95%D7%93-%D7%94%D7%A8%D7%A9%D7%9E%D7%99-672814062730502/?fref=ts

Hunting with dogs HCJ. HCJ 2971/15 Let the Animals Live v. Israel Nature and Parks Authority. Petition against permits granted by the Israel Nature and Parks Authority for hunting by dogs. Dog hunting involves the incitement of dogs on wild pigs, and leads to cruel injuries to dogs, pigs and other wild animals living at the hunting ground. The petition is pending. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?article=%D7%91%D7%92%D7%A6-%D7%A0%D7%92%D7%93-%D7%A8%D7%A9%D7%95%D7%AA-%D7%94%D7%98%D7%91%D7%A2-%D7%95%D7%94%D7%92%D7%A0%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%93%D7%95%D7%A8%D7%A9%D7%99%D7%9D-%D7%9C%D7%90%D7%A1%D7%95%D7%A8

The Proneuron Affair. CP 4051/15 Teva v. Proneuron. Let the Animals Live sought to join as a friend of the court for a civil proceeding between two biotechnology companies, which revolved around a clinical trial designed to test whether the Copaxone drug could benefit ALS patients. The trial did not indicate the benefit of using the drug among ALS patients, and the dispute between the biotechnology companies revolved around whether the trial was well planned, as required by their contract. Among other things, the question was whether additional animal experiments were required prior to the clinical trial, and what was the significance of the animal experiments that did take place. In the application to join, Let the Animals Live pointed out that ALS does not have a valid model in animals, meaning that animals of any kind do not have ALS, and all attempts to cause them diseases with similar symptoms have not yielded a model that enables to conclude from animals to humans. Let the Animals Live Asked that the court’s ruling will not be one that leads to animal testing just for legal cover, when they have no value in advancing the study. The request to join was not accepted, but the court announced that it would be aware of the issues arising from it.

The First Dabbah HCJ. HCJ 4196/15 Let the Animals Live v. Veterinary Services Administration. This petition was filed following the serious and systematic abuse of animals in the Dabbah slaughterhouse in Deir al-Assad, which was at the time the largest slaughterhouse in Israel. The abuse was uncovered through hidden cameras by “Animals Australia”. Among other things, severe violence against animals, dragging sheep from their feet, intensive use of electric shockers, throwing sheep from a truck, and abusing dying calves after slitting their throats was exposed. Calves whose throats have already been cut have been filmed getting up on their feet and trying to escape. Workers broke the tails of dying calves, and lifted them from their feet in the air to the conveyor belt that led them to process the body. Following the investigation, the slaughterhouse was closed for a few days and changes were introduced. As a result of the petition, the procedure of the slaughterhouses of the veterinary services was changed, and instructions were established regarding an immediate response by the supervising veterinarian in cases of deviation from the procedure – including stopping the slaughter until the defects were corrected. In addition, the Ministry of Agriculture launched a tender to network all the slaughterhouses in Israel with cameras that will be installed at all sensitive points and broadcast to a central control center. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=4248

The Second Spaying/Neutering HCJ. HCJ 7445/15 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. The Animal Welfare Law states that every year the state will allocate NIS 4.5 million to prevent the breeding of stray animals. Following a previous petition by Let the Animals Live, the budget is regularly allocated for spaying and neutering of feral cats. In 2015, the Ministry of Agriculture delayed the budget, apparently in light of Halachic opposition from the minister and the director general for spaying and neutering. Ideas have been come up such as using the money to transport cats and dogs to foreign countries that would be able to absorb them. Finally, the Minister of Agriculture decided that the budget would be transferred to the Chief Scientist of the Ministry of Agriculture, who will publish a call for studies on ways to prevent the breeding of stray animals, which would be in line with the Halacha. Following the petition, and after the intervention of the Attorney General, the money was allocated for spaying and neutering of feral cats. More on the petition: https://www.letlive.org.il/?p=4328

The Live Shipments HCJ. HCJ 7622/15 Let the Animals Live v. Veterinary Services Administration. A petition against the cruel live shipments of calves and lambs from Europe and Australia to Israel, on lengthy torment journeys – only to slaughter them in Israel. As is not enough that the animal, lamb or calf, is doomed to slaughter, industry officials, with the approval of the Ministry of Agriculture, pass him through a journey of anguish, sometimes from one edge of the world to another. For long days and weeks, he is transported by sea and land, in trucks and ships. The repeated discharge and loading are always frightening and often violent. On board, he is kept in cramped pens, wallowing in his feces and the feces of his friends. An animal that does not adapt to the food given on board may die of starvation. Others will suffer from disease and some will die. The bodies are dumped in the sea, and often washed up on the shores of our country. The petition indicates that all professional entities determine that if animals are slaughtered, it must be done as close as possible to where they were born and raised, and convert live shipments into the meat trade. Fresh meat can be imported to Israel from slaughtered animals near where they were raised, and this meat will be even cheaper for the consumer. In these circumstances, permits to import live animals are disproportionate and illegal. The petition remains pending. For more information and petition documents: https://www.letlive.org.il/?article=www-stop-letlive-org-il

Soglowek HCJ. HCJ 7199/16 Let the Animals Live v. Haifa District Attorney’s Office. A petition against the refusal of the Haifa District Attorney’s Office to allow animal protection organizations to file a criminal complaint (the equivalent procedure for an indictment) against Soglowek and its employees, for animal cruelty exposed in an undercover investigation by the “Anonymous” association in the slaughterhouse. These include the violent collection of turkeys thrown from cages that fell from a truck following a car accident; abandoning of poultry in cages, without food and water, for long hours, much more than permitted by regulations, causing unimaginable suffering; holding of poultry in non-standard and improper cages that cause the capture of the organs of the birds between their bars, causing serious injuries and suffering; shaking and tilting of cages, when poultry repeatedly fall from cages from a great height, or are shaken between heaven and earth while caught between cage bars from their heads, wings or other organs; violently tearing off from the cages poultry whose legs got stuck between their bars; cruel catching of poultry and throwing them in the air for a long distance; throwing in the air of live poultry, injured and bleeding (after cutting their throats) for slow dying in metal containers. The Attorney’s Office withdrew the case for more than two years, and it was not until early 2017, following the filing of the petition, that it scandalously decided to close the case. At the hearing of the petition, it was determined that the Attorney’s Office would transfer the investigative material in the cthease to the association, allowing it to appeal its closure – and so it happened.

Subsidies for slaughterhouses HCJ. HCJ 7516/16 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Economy. A petition against the provision of subsidies, from the state coffers, to slaughterhouses. Beyond the inherent harm to animals, this is a harmful subsidy, which supports a destructive industry for the environment and the production of food that the Ministry of Health recommends reducing its consumption. The expansion of slaughterhouses in Israel will also encourage the cruel live shipments of animals from Australia and Europe to Israel, instead of slaughtering the animals near their birthplace, and replacing the death journeys by meat trade. The petition was deleted after the court made it clear that it would not interfere with the broader judgment given to the government in providing subsidies.

The Third Spaying/Neutering HCJ. HCJ 7761/16 Let the Animals Live v. Minister of Agriculture. After in 2015 the annual budget for preventing the breeding of stray animals was allocated only following a petition by Let the Animals Live, in 2016 the call for the allocation of funds lingered. In October, when the year was about to end without the call being issued, Let the Animals Live petitioned the High Court. Following the petition, the call came out for 2016 and 2017.