The United States trained explosive detecting sniffer dogs that were sent to ten Middle-Eastern countries including Jordan and Egypt. As a part of the Antiterrorism Assistance Explosive Detection Canine Program, the trained dogs were sent to partner countries to be used and taken care of by the national forces. In September, the State Department's inspector general had suggested the programme be halted in Jordan. Following more deaths and cases of negligence, the State Department has taken the call to stop the programme in both Jordan and Egypt.
Training sniffer dogs is an intensive training process that requires hard work from the trainers as well as state funding. Sending the well-trained dogs to be starved to death is akin to sending soldiers to die of starvation. In September, a report by the inspector general pointed out the negligence and death faced by the dogs in Jordan. The State Department did not take any initiative based on the report.
A follow-up report revealed that two more dogs had died of unnatural causes in Jordan between September and December. One died due to heatstroke while the other died of insecticide poisoning. The previous report detailed how the dogs were kept in faeces covered kennels and were malnourished.
In the absence of reinforcement training, the Jordanian handlers are unable to control or care for the dogs. The success rate of the dogs on the field drops to 50% from the initial 90% they display upon arrival.
Three out of 10 dogs sent to Egypt in 2018 were reported dead. The Independent pointed out that the Egyptian authorities did not allow the US forces to investigate the living conditions of the dogs.
BBC reported that two dogs from Jordan were returned to the US in "critically ill conditions." One of the dogs had to be put down while the other took months to return to health.
Training a team of 10 dogs for a month cost around $640k (£495K). The cost of veterinary care for the dogs in Jordan is around $540K (£417k) annually. Allowing the animals to suffer and die in negligence in Jordan and Egypt will no longer be permitted by the US. It sets a precedent to countries like Bahrain, Indonesia, Lebanon, Mexico, Morocco, Nepal, Oman, and Thailand where US-trained sniffer dogs are exported.