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State Department responds to report of canine program mistreatment in Jordan

The State Department said Wednesday that it takes “very seriously” a report that the U.S. has sent bomb-sniffing dogs to Jordan despite having copious evidence of canine mistreatment.

A State spokesperson told The Hill in a statement that the department has taken steps to resolve the Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) concerns, several of which it considers already resolved.

“The strength of the program is dependent on healthy, well-cared for animals,” the spokesperson said.

The spokesperson said the department is aiding the Jordanian program in their “training, equipment, veterinarian assistance and mentorship to ensure the health and welfare of the granted canines.”  

The OIG report last week said 10 out of the 100 explosive-detection dogs sent to Jordan between 2008 and 2016 had died and others were living in unhealthy conditions and still in the field “well beyond their working years.” Officials told the OIG that the Jordanian program was in “dire straits.”

The State Department says it has issued a standard operating procedure to gauge the Jordanian program’s ability to care for the dogs and to prepare for their retirements. The department is also creating a program to further fund all Antiterrorism Assistance programs for canine health and wellness.
 
“Given prior incidents and the seriousness of the terrorist threat, we are cooperating with partner nations on these programs, particularly those nations that are a last point of departure for flights to the United States,” the spokesperson said.

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