Sniffer alert: Bosnia trains dogs for mine-detection

Using minefield simulators, Bosnia's Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) is training dogs to sniff and get rid of its territory of landmines dating back to its 1990s war

Nearly 40 dogs being trained

The Norwegian People's Aid (NPA) in a suburb of Sarajevo, Bosnia is training dogs with mine-detection skills. Nearly 40 dogs are being trained, while 30 other "veterans" are "enjoying their well-deserved retirement", said Gordana Medunjanin, who works at the centre.

(Photograph:AFP)

Mine-free area

The aim of this training is to make the area mine-free by 2025. Since the end of the war, anti-personnel mines have killed 617 people, including 53 de-miners, according to the Bosnia and Herzegovina Mine Action Center.

(Photograph:AFP)

Long history

The Balkan state, still working to rid its territory of landmines dating back to its 1990s war, has become an important training ground for canines deployed as far afield as Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

(Photograph:AFP)

Decrease in explosive areas

At the end of Bosnia's 1992-95 conflict, some eight percent of its territory was littered with explosives. Experts believe that all thanks to these dogs, explosives littered areas have decreased by two per cent.

(Photograph:AFP)

Graduates head to mine clearance programmes

The training for these dogs start when puppies are four to six weeks old and last upto 18 months. After completing their training, the site's graduates are currently taking part in mine clearance programmes in Bosnia, Iraq, Lebanon, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Cambodia.

(Photograph:AFP)

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