Sniffer dogs of forest department hardly put in service | dehradun | Hindustan Times
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Sniffer dogs of forest department hardly put in service

So far, these dogs have not been used to its full potential in wildlife cases, especially in tracking down poachers and wildlife smugglers and in detecting animal parts. Moreover, the Uttarakhand Police’s Special Task Force (STF) is mostly taking action on its own in poaching and smuggling cases despite the plan that it will carry out a joint operation with the forest department.

dehradun Updated: Aug 21, 2017 20:59 IST
Nihi Sharma
Nihi Sharma
Hindustan Times
Uttarakhand,forest department,sniffer dog
Forest guards with their sniffer dog ahead of a training session.(HT PHOTO)

DEHRADUN: Three sniffer dogs of the forest department face the danger of losing their edge. Two German Shepherds with Corbett and one with Rajaji were brought to keep a check on wildlife smuggling and to take part in regular patrol duties at sensitive areas.

But an untrained workforce without dog handling skills and a lack of proper drills and coordination with the police have resulted in these canines being hardly deployed for anti-poaching duties in a planned way.

So far, these dogs have not been used to its full potential in wildlife cases, especially in tracking down poachers and wildlife smugglers and in detecting animal parts. Moreover, the Uttarakhand Police’s Special Task Force (STF) is mostly taking action on its own in poaching and smuggling cases despite the plan that it will carry out a joint operation with the forest department.

Chief wildlife warden Digvijay Singh Khati accepted that the three sniffer dogs need to be deployed for duties. “The dogs need to be taken out in the field every day. Otherwise, they forget their training. Most of this (situation) is also to be blamed on the poor training of our staff who don’t plan to patrol with these canines,” Khati said.

In such a situation, the Rajaji and Corbett managements are left with no option but making the three dogs regularly sniff animal parts such as bones and skins of tiger and leopard. “This keeps them in practice. The dogs are sometimes taken for patrolling, but it’s not possible to take them on routine patrolling,” Rajaji director Sanatan Sonkar said.

Meanwhile, the Rajaji staff management does not bring its sniffer dog to Dehradun and Haridwar railway stations unless it gets a tip-off of wildlife smuggling. “The railway stations of Dehradun and Haridwar are important spots where wildlife parts or banned herbs can be easily smuggled. While the police keep a check on the transit, the sniffer dogs could at least scan the stations,” Abhishekh Kumar of TRAFFIC India said.

Both sniffer dogs from Corbett are taken to the Kathgodam railway station every fortnight. “We are hopeful of getting two more dogs soon so that we can deploy one permanently in Haldwani for the railway station,” Corbett director Surendra Mehra said.

First Published: Aug 21, 2017 20:59 IST