Police dogs pulled from duty over new animal rights law — Analysis

New German laws regarding animal welfare were found to be incompatible with methods used during police operations for the control of enforcement canines

German police have removed dogs with high-level training from the frontline after an animal rights law prohibited them from using canines for the purpose of controlling and training criminals.

Police dogs from Germany were placed under an unofficial break following a January 1st law. Julia Klockner, former Agriculture Minister, has banned the use of any punitive stimuli in order to control or train dogs.

“We are currently unable to deploy a section of our service dogs due to changes in the animal protection act governing dogs,”Thilo Cablitz was the spokesperson for the police as quoted in The Guardian

Police stated that 49 of the dogs will be removed from service until an answer is found. These dogs were part of the 130-strong contingent of canines that is responsible for many operations including arrests and missing person searches.

The area of contention is around dog handlers’ use of so-called “pulling collars,”these can be used during police operations to stop the aggression of canines. 

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The collar, engaged by a short pull on the dog’s lead, is used to briefly restrict the animal’s breathing, signaling the end of an attack, and preventing the canine from causing serious harm to the assailant.

Although the legislation that bans the use of punitive stimuli in Germany was meant to raise the standards for dog ownership, it is still applicable to guard and police dogs.

The new law requires dog owners to take their pets for walks and enjoy quality time together. Except in certain situations, pinch collars or chains are no longer allowed.

Stephan Kelm (Vice-chair) of the Berlin branch police union, GdP stated that they are open to finding “innovative training methods, in which it is not necessary to inflict pain. But right now we don’t know of any.”He said that the solution must be discovered, or there will be no solutions. “severe consequences for domestic security.”

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