Machipongo’s own United Poultry Concerns has raised $30,000 to support their lawsuit against the City of New York, the New York City Police Department, and the NYC Department of Health for refusing to enforce the 15 laws being violated by Kaporos practitioners.
Between Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, makeshift chicken coops appear on the streets and sidewalks of Hasidic Brooklyn neighborhoods like Borough Park and Williamsburg, dedicated to the ritual sacrifice of chickens for atonement in a centuries old practice known as kapparot, or kaporos. After campaigning against the practice for years, the UPC, along with the Alliance to End Chickens denounces what it calls a “bloodbath” that claims the lives of 50,000 chickens and occurs in “unregulated, makeshift slaughterhouses in Brooklyn streets and sidewalks in the days prior to Yom Kippur.”
According to UPC, NYC has failed to enforce the law; the City has actively assisted the practitioners by providing them with police protection, barricades, and, most egregiously, filthy orange traffic cones to bleed out the dying chickens in an ultimate public expression of brutality, disrespect and degradation of the birds.
The Alliance to End Chickens as Kaporos is a project of United Poultry Concerns. Formed in New York City in June 2010, the Alliance is an association of groups and individuals who seek to replace the use of chickens in Kaporos ceremonies with money or other non-animal symbols of atonement. The Alliance does not oppose Kaporos per se, only the cruel and unnecessary use of chickens in the ceremony.