the authorized slaughterer of animals according to the laws of kashrut (kosher-ness).

The shochet is not a butcher. His job is to kill the animal and examine the carcass, not to render it into food. Jewish law generally discourages cruelty to animals, and the kosher method of slaughter is extremely quick and humane when its guidelines are followed strictly. The carcass must be free of disease and major blemishes. The work of the shochet is authorized and supervised by rabbis.

Source: Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish.

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