It’s government pork of a different sort.
Israeli officials will allow a test of a revolutionary security proposal that enlists wild boars to help sniff out Arab terrorists threatening West Bank Jewish settlements and identify them for human guards.
The animal is considered more suited than the dogs who currently hold the job.
“Pigs’ sense of smell is far more developed than that of dogs,” explained Kuti Ben-Yaakov of the Jewish Legion, a volunteer security organization that floated the idea.
“Boars could be better than dogs in finding mines and explosives,” Geva Zin, a former trainer of sniffer dogs, agreed in an interview with the Israeli magazine, Israel Insider. “Look at their noses! God designed them to go into the field and find mines.”
The guard pigs also have a secret weapon: Muslims consider the animal dangerous. According to Islam, whoever touches an “unclean” pig is not eligible for the 70 virgins in heaven.
Because the pig is also viewed as unclean under Jewish law, Ben-Yaakov had to get special approval from rabbis in order to begin training his newest four-legged warriors. Former Chief Rabbi Mordehai Eliyahu and Kiryat Arba’s Chief Rabbi Dov Lior have given their endorsement.
“The prohibition of raising the pig is known,” Rabbi Daniel Shilo of Kedumim, who serves as chairman of the rabbinical committee of the Yesha Council of Jewish Communities in Judea, Samaria and the Gaza Strip, told Maariv. “But because we are dealing with … the saving of lives, it is permissible to have the animal.”
Zin, 26, came up with the idea after encountering dozens of wild boars in Croatia.
“I watched their behavior and reached the conclusion that they could be better than dogs in finding mines and explosives,” he told Israel Insider. Zin tested his theory through a nine-month research project at Israel’s Institute for Animal Studies in Kibbutz Lahav.
According to Ben-Yaakov, the animals will be purchased from Kibbutz Lahav in the Negev through donations raised overseas.
Early reaction from Jewish settlers to the idea wasn’t favorable.
“Spare us from this nonsense,” a spokesman told the BBC. “It will never happen.”
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