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US stops sending sniffer dogs to Egypt and Jordan after multiple deaths

A US government report highlighted cases of severe negligence in the care of sniffer dogs in Jordan and Egypt.

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New Delhi: US government has decided to stop sending sniffer dogs to Egypt and Jordan after a number of them died due to negligence.

“Any death of a canine in the field is an extremely sad event and we will take every measure possible to prevent this from happening in the future,” said an official from the US State Department.

These dogs play a critical role in counter-terrorism efforts overseas, he added.

Why did US decide to stop sending sniffer dogs?

The poor treatment of these sniffer dogs emerged in mid-2017 after the release of a government report, which documented their condition.

According to the report, more than 100 dogs — sent to Jordan, Egypt and eight other countries — suffered from extremely poor care.

This report prompted the State Department’s autonomous Office of the Inspector General (OIG) to look into the matter and they came out with their own report in September this year.

The report discovered that 135 sniffer dogs deployed overseas, suffered from serious neglect.

Severe cases of negligence recorded in Jordan and Egypt

With nearly 100 dogs, Jordan is the largest recipient of sniffer dogs and the OIG report found severe cases of negligence in the country.

“The report by the US state department’s Office of Inspector General said that one dog died in Jordan in 2017 of hyperthermia (heat stroke),” noted a BBC report.

The report added that two dogs were returned to the US in critically ill conditions and one of them had to be euthanised.

“In a new report out in December the OIG discovered that in June and September two other dogs had died in Jordan of ‘unnatural causes’ — one due to heat stroke and the other poisoned by pesticides sprayed by Jordanian police in or near the dog’s kennel,” reported AFP.

The follow-up December report also noted how three of the 10 dogs sent to Egypt had succumbed to lung cancer, heat stroke and a ruptured gall bladder respectively.

The OIG had initially recommended a ban on sending sniffer dogs to Jordan and recently added Egypt to the same black list.

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