Three Alsatian bomb-sniffing dogs died last month “in horrific circumstances” according to the Sun, and 15 other military dogs were sickened after a “spot-on” flea-and-tick treatment was put in their food instead of being applied topically to their backs.
The product, Prac-tic, has a warning on its packaging that it is for external use only. That warning was apparently ignored by someone at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire.
The Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) demanded an investigation of the case, which is being conducted by the Ministry of Defense (MoD).
“The RSPCA recognizes the important role of military working dogs and their value and contribution in military operations,” the organization stated, according to the Telegraph. “… the RSPCA, and the public, fully expect the MoD to protect their welfare and ensure they experience high standards of welfare throughout their working life.”
The Leicestershire Mercury reports that the Defence Animal Centre trains all military dogs, “including those sniffing out roadside bombs and weapons in Afghanistan and guarding military bases in the country.” It is home to about 200 dogs.
In response to U.S. consumer complaints about the deaths of more than 1,600 dogs after the external use of “spot-on” flea treatments, in 2010 the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) conducted an extensive investigation of the products. The EPA concluded they were safe, but the labels were confusing. The agency implemented new requirements that make the labels easier to understand.
PHOTO: Magnus Bråth