MONGOLIA: The country’s first dog training class will be barred for the next two years after a parliamentary committee recommended that the practice be banned.
The move comes after the country’s animal welfare minister warned that the dogs could become addicted to the drug.
The dogs’ owners are currently being investigated for the alleged cruelty, but they were allowed to continue the training program.
The Dog Trainers Association of Mongolia (DTMA) said it had submitted a proposal to the parliamentary committee for a ban on training dogs in public areas such as parks and shopping malls.
“If the ban is implemented, the dogs will lose their motivation and become addicted,” said DTMA chairman Khaqang Kangal.
“The dogs are not used in training to protect people from predators, but to teach them how to act as human helpers,” he said.
“The dogs’ training methods are based on the human instinct and it’s a violation of their dignity.”
The dogs were being trained by the DTMA to help in the rehabilitation of the countrys animal rescue team.
The dog handlers have been trained in the care and treatment of injured animals.
“It’s not a dog that has been trained to act like a police dog,” said Dr Huan Chen, an expert in animal welfare and veterinary sciences at China’s National University of Veterinary Sciences.
“It’s an animal that has experienced suffering.
It is not used for training for obedience.
Its purpose is to teach the dogs to act human,” he added.
According to a report by the Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry, the number of dogs being trained in China has increased from around 1,000 in 2010 to nearly 11,000 by 2021.
The number of dog handlers has also risen from 4,000 to 7,000 since then.
But a study by the Veterinary Medical Association of China in September 2017 found that a number of problems with the dogs are linked to the dogs’ handling of drugs.
“Although the number [of dogs being] trained to train to be human helpers is relatively low, a large number of the dogs involved in this are not using the drugs properly,” the study found.
According in the study, a number are used to perform illegal drug tests.
“In a number or even in a large part of these cases, the drug tests are not performed on the dogs as it is considered a dangerous practice to perform on dogs,” it said.
However, some of the experts who spoke to Al Jazeera expressed scepticism over the DTTA’s plans.
“When they came to parliament to pass the legislation [the ban] was only approved by a narrow majority,” said the professor of animal behaviour at Beijing’s Fudan University, Li Mingxiao.
“When they are banned, the other dogs who are being trained to be helpers will also be banned,” he noted.
“If the dogs cannot be trained properly, they will become addicted and they will suffer a lot,” he also said.