Anyone who prevents an animal from eating while working is liable to be punished by flogging as it is said, "You shall not muzzle the ox when it is threshing."1 It is immaterial whether it is an ox, or any other animal or beast, whether unclean or clean, whether it is threshing or any other work concerned with produce of the ground. The Torah mentions the ox and threshing only because it speaks of the usual circumstance. Even if it is muzzled by voice, that is, it is shouted at, and is thus prevented from eating, it is punishable by flogging.


כָּל הַמּוֹנֵעַ אֶת הַבְּהֵמָה מִלֶּאֱכֹל בִּשְׁעַת מְלַאכְתָּהּ, לוֹקֶה, שֶׁנֶּאֱמַר, לֹא תַחְסֹם שׁוֹר בְּדִישׁוֹ. אֶחָד שׁוֹר וְאֶחָד כָּל מִינֵי בְהֵמָה וְחַיָה, בֵּין טְמֵאִים בֵּין טְהוֹרִים, וְאֶחָד הַדִּישָׁה וְאֶחָד כָּל שְׁאָר מְלָאכוֹת שֶׁל גִּדּוּלֵי קַרְקַע. וְלֹא נֶאֱמַר שׁוֹר בְּדִישׁוֹ, אֶלָא בַּהֹוֶה. וַאֲפִלּוּ חֲסָמָהּ בְּקוֹל, דְהַיְנוּ שֶׁצָּעַק עָלֶיהָ וְעַל יְדֵי זֶה לֹא תֹאכַל, חַיַב מַלְקוֹת.


A Jew who threshes (grain) even with an animal belonging to a non-Jew, and even if the grain belongs to a non-Jew, transgresses the commandment "You shall not muzzle."


יִשְֹרָאֵל הַדָּשׁ אֲפִלּוּ בְּפָרָתוֹ שֶׁל גּוֹי וּתְבוּאָה שֶׁל גּוֹי, עוֹבֵר מִשּׁוּם לֹא תַחְסֹם.


If the animal is unable to eat because it is thirsty, you must give it to drink.2


אִם הַבְּהֵמָה אֵינָהּ יְכוֹלָה לֶאֱכֹל, מִפְּנֵי שֶׁהִיא צְמֵאָה, צָרִיךְ לְהַשְׁקוֹתָהּ.


If an animal is working with something which would be harmful to its intestines, you are permitted to muzzle it; for the Torah is concerned with the benefit of the animal, and in such case it would not be to its benefit.


בְּהֵמָה שֶׁהִיא עוֹשָׂה בְּדָבָר שֶׁהוּא רַע לִבְנֵי מֵעֶיהָ, מֻתָּר לְחָסְמָה, שֶׁלֹּא הִקְפִּידָה הַתּוֹרָה אֶלָּא עַל הֲנָאָתָהּ, וַהֲרֵי אֵינָהּ נֶהֱנֵית.