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    Can anyone be a shochet? – Ask the Rabbi

    Q. Can anyone be a shochet?

    A. Shoch’tim are more than mere slaughterers. Over and above a knowledge of animal anatomy and the skills of the profession, they must be scrupulously religious and learned people who are constantly aware of the seriousness of their task.

    He must derive no pleasure from taking animal life and must avoid every possibility of unnecessary suffering on the part of the animal. He commences his work by saying a b’rachah which implies that were it not for Divine permission to eat meat, there would be no animal slaughter.

    No shochet may be a coarse or cruel individual, though he has to be able to handle being in the slaughter-yard, which not everyone would be able to deal with. This is why women are not employed in this capacity even though a woman is in theory allowed to be a shochetet.

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