Police dogs, which are specifically trained to assist police and other law-enforcement personnel have been temporarily sent off duty because of a new regulation to avoid canine cruelty in Germany. The law, which prohibits the police to pull collars to bring aggression out of the dogs was introduced by the former agricultural minister Julia Klöckner and took effect on January 1. As per the reports of the Guardian, the police announced that 49 canines out of 130 were suspended from duty until a solution was found that did not require policemen to breach the new law. The dogs were employed for everything from arresting criminals to detecting drugs and explosives and locating missing people.
Dogs used by special forces as well as those used to guard civilians and apprehend criminals are among those who have been suspended. Another reason for the existence of this law is that if a dog's hostile behaviour towards the criminal may result in serious injury or death of the criminal. The guidelines are meant to apply to all German dogs.
Rules controlling the overall care and upkeep of dogs are included in the act, which covers everything from kennel size, temperature, and ventilation to breeding methods, according to the Guardian. Dog owners are required to walk their dogs on a regular basis, spend time with them and ensure that they are socialised with other dogs.
Julia Klöckner stated that updating existing legislation had been long overdue but had become critical during the pandemic, as an increasing number of people with no prior experience owning pets had purchased dogs, and cases of abuse were rampant, according to the Guardian. She also believes that pet store owners and breeders should be more responsible for the well-being of their dogs. The legislation change has been known for months, but its impact on police attack dogs' daily operations appears to have caught both officers and politicians off guard.
Stephan Kelm, who is vice-chair of the Gewerkschaft der Polizei (GdP), Berlin branch stated that this will impact forces all throughout Germany. He claimed that they are entirely open to new training methods that don't involve inflicting pain but at this time, they are unaware of any, according to the Guardian. A police spokesperson, Thilo Cablitz stated that they are talking to the ministry right now to figure out the solution.