BREAKING NEWS
This content is not available in your region

US stops sending bomb-detecting dogs to Egypt and Jordan over welfare concerns

Comments
A three-year-old German shepherd trained in the United States sniffs for explosives in a drill at the K-9 compound of the Jordanian police
A three-year-old German shepherd trained in the United States sniffs for explosives in a drill at the K-9 compound of the Jordanian police   -   Copyright  AP Photos/Raad Adayleh   -   Raad Adayleh
Text size Aa Aa

The US says it will stop sending bomb-detecting dogs to Jordan and Egypt amid concerns over how they are being treated.

It comes after the State Department Office of Inspector General recommended halting the programme until better care plans were put in place.

A report found several dogs died or had to be euthanised over the past 18 months, including at least two from heatstroke, one from a preventable parasite and a fourth from a pesticide sprayed in or near its kennel. The report said Jordan has agreed to stop using that pesticide around the kennels.

A veterinarian consulted by the OIG said the heatstroke deaths were a result of “negligence and improper care,” and not accidents.

The State Department has sent more than 200 dogs to various countries overseas to help prevent terrorism over the past 20 years.

Beyond Jordan and Egypt, the canines are also in Oman, Bahrain, Lebanon, Nepal, Dominican Republic and Afghanistan.

“The death of any canine is tragic, and we will continue to evaluate and monitor the programme to include our canines in Jordan and Egypt and to take every measure possible to prevent a canine death in the future,” a US State Department spokesperson said in a press conference.