There is a Torah prohibition against slaughtering an animal and its offspring on the same day. This prohibition applies even when separate people are doing the slaughtering.

Nowadays when animals are raised for slaughter in large commercial farms and (presumably) bought and sold somewhat regularly, are any precautions taken to avoid slaughtering a parent and offspring on the same day? If so, what are these precautions?

  • 1
    I doubt that any are taken or needed. These places work on very regular schedules. I'm not even sure mothers are slaughtered for meat instead of just being used for milk and rearing; they are probably given special food/care for those purposes exclusively.
    – Double AA
    Aug 10, 2016 at 0:48
  • @DoubleAA I don't think that's right. I'm pretty sure when you buy beef or chicken from the store you're not getting bulls and roosters. Some cows are slaughtered for veal while their mothers clearly weren't. Also if I'm not mistaken the prohibition applies to fathers and their offspring as well (oto v'et b'no)
    – Daniel
    Aug 10, 2016 at 11:18
  • It doesn't apply to fathers unless you know specifically who the father is, and it only applies to Behemot, not chickens. he.wikisource.org/wiki/…
    – Double AA
    Aug 10, 2016 at 14:31
  • Why would this be any different from in the past if you bought a goat or cow from someone and moved out of town? Is buying and selling livestock a new phenomenon?
    – Double AA
    Aug 10, 2016 at 17:04
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    @DoubleAA milk cows are slaughtered for meat after they’ve outlived their usefulness as milk producers. Also many of the “meat cows” are female because their meat is more tender. Only extra lean beef is made from bulls as they have virtually no fat on them. Oct 8, 2017 at 17:54

1 Answer 1


It is not required by Halacha to inquire as to whether a cow is the offspring of another that was slaughtered on the same day unless we have a reason to suspect two cows are related. While modern slaughter houses do slaughter mostly female cows and male steer, there is nothing done to investigate whether any of the animals are related. Since most faculties don’t process both veal and full grown cows together, it would be next to impossible to verify if two full grown cows coming from the same ranch are related. This answer is based on my experience as a shochet and having worked in slaughter houses for years.


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