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Shulchan Aruch, Orach Chayim 551:9:

Some have the custom not to eat meat… during the week [of 9 Av, until after 9 Av]; some add from rosh chodesh until the fast; some add from 17 Tamuz.

Rama holds of the middle view. He adds:

We hide the slaughtering knife from rosh chodesh, since we don't slaughter (except for a mitzva, as for a sick person, the sabbath, a mila, or the like).

Nowadays, obviously, we don't need to slaughter animals right before eating them. Moreover, many non-Jews buy kosher meat. The above-implied reason for not slaughtering during the nine days is pretty much gone.

  • What is the current common practice? Are kosher slaughterhouses open during the nine days? during the week of 9 Av?
  • Are there any pos'kim that explicitly permit or ban slaughtering at this time of year in light of modern technology, infrastructure, and/or demand?
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The Aruch HaShulchan in OH 551:25 writes, after quoting the Ramo in the question:

ומובן ממילא דבעיר גדולה שיש בה תמיד כמה חולאים וכמה יולדות, והרבה חלושי הבריאות – לא שייך להצניע הסכין

"And it is understood automatically that in a big city where there always many sick people and many women who have given birth and many weak people -- it is not relevant to hide the knife"

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An excellent source! I wonder if modern factories have adopted this psak? – Double AA Jul 20 '12 at 22:02

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