China sends police dogs to join UN landmine clearance mission in Lebanon

China will send two police dogs to help locate landmines in Lebanon for the United Nations Peacekeeping Forces' (UNPF) mission in the middle of March.

"The dogs are qualified to conduct overseas missions," said inspectors from UNPF's team organization group here on Thursday, after conducting the examination of the dogs in Kunming, capital of Southwest China's Yunnan Province.

Kunming police dogs were bred by Chinese scientists in the 1980s. The dogs will aid the clearance of 182 landmines and road construction soldiers in the UNPF's mission in Lebanon.

"Within two minutes, these two Kunming police dogs sniffed out two landmines buried 12 inches underground in an area measuring 30 square meters," said one examiner from UNPF. "They've done an excellent job."

China has actively taken part in the UN's peacekeeping operations. It is the first time for Chinese police dogs to join in the UNPF's landmine clearance mission, said Yang Yinghui, a 22-year-old trainer in Kunming Police Dogs Training Center (KPDTC).

"They are trained to respond to any suspicious subjects with vigilance, said Yang, who named the dog "Wuzu", which literally means "no obstacles" in Chinese.

China's landmine clearance troop is to undertake the so-called "Green Clearance" in Lebanon. The mission demands very high skills from the dogs, said Yang.

Yang and his comrade Li Hu, who will accompany the two police dogs for the UNPF's mission, spent two months in the center training the two police dogs with special landmine clearance techniques.

The center received a request from UN in December, 2005 for the police dogs. "Our trainers immediately carried out systematic training of landmine clearance," said Zhang Zhi, an officer of the police dog training center.

The two dogs were carefully selected from thousands of police dogs in the training center.

"Both these two dogs have passed many qualification tests from the very beginning of their births, pre-puberty training and adult professional training," said Zhang.

The police dogs in the training center have earned high reputation in anti-smuggling missions along China's borders. The center has supplied over 13,000 dogs with special talents for various services nationwide.

Source: Xinhua



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