Dogs, specially trained to sniff out illegal wildlife products like tiger skins and bones, joined the forest departments of Madhya Pradesh, Maharashtra and Jharkhand Friday.
The dogs and their 10 handlers have completed a nine-month training programme which culminated Friday at a passing out ceremony held in the Dog Training Centre at the Special Armed Forces Academy, Bhopal.
The dogs have been trained to detect hidden wildlife articles like bones and skins of tigers and leopards and bear bile. Their procurement and training was funded and facilitated by TRAFFIC India, a joint programme of World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
This is the second phase of TRAFFIC India's sniffer dog training programme. Earlier, two dogs were deployed by the forest departments of Haryana and Uttarakhand.
'In order to curb the growing menace of wildlife crimes, it is necessary to deploy the best enforcement practices available including the use of sniffer dogs, which have a proven track record in detecting crime and serving as a long-term deterrent,' said Samir Sinha, head, TRAFFIC India here.