Kosher for Passover food for IDF animals

Commando dogs, security dogs and even carrier lamas are enjoying nutritionally valuable, kosher foods this Passover, inspected by military vets

Date: 10/04/2012, 2:18 PM     Author: Florit Shoihet

During the week of Passover, not only soldiers honor the Jewish holiday by eating kosher for Passover foods, but also IDF (Zahal) animals stationed at the various units. The food, composed mostly of corn and starches, does not contain wheat in accordance with all Military Rabbinate criteria for kosher for Passover foods. Its nutritional value is specifically accommodated to the animals’ needs and does not in any way affect their health or activity.

“Out of the wide range of IDF (Zahal) animals, 99% eat kosher for Passover food,” said head of the kosher department at the IDF (Zahal) food center, Rabbi Maj. Asher Landau. The process of supplying kosher foods for animals has been improved in recent years. Among the animals enjoying the Passover blend are the dogs of the elite commando K9 unit, Oketz, IAF security dogs, and lamas used to carry heavy weights.

Military veterinarians inspect the animals’ Passover diet. “We realize the animals aren’t used to this food, and are thus gradually accustomed to it a week prior to the holiday with close inspection of their health,” explained Rabbi Maj. Landau. The kosher food is equally healthy to the food IDF (Zahal) animals receive year-round.

With the kosher food given to IDF (Zahal) animals, the military can be declared fully ‘Kosher for Passover’ at all bases and posts even where animals are stationed, guaranteeing no harm is caused to the animals.