- Question: [Tuesday, 17th Nissan, 5781]
Is there any issue with purchasing typical animal food that is set up to feed the birds and other animals at the petting zoo during Pesach?
Absolutely! The animal/bird feed which is given to visitors by petting zoos is often made of Chametz ingredients, and hence unless verified otherwise, it is forbidden for one to feed this food to the animals, whether one purchases the pet food or is given it for free. Thus, one may not even pick up the food from the floor and throw it into the area of the animal for him to eat. It is proper for all parents to explain this to their children prior to entering the zoo.
Explanation: It is forbidden to own Chametz on Pesach and hence most certainly one may not purchase animal food that may contain Chametz. Furthermore, even if one does not purchase it and own it, it remains forbidden to feed it to an animal on Pesach due to the benefit prohibition.
Sources: Admur 443:3