For the first time ever, Portugal has police dogs trained specifically to detect poison.
The team of seven Belgian Shepherd (Malinois) dogs are based at the GNR school in Queluz but can be dispatched anywhere in Portugal.
The dogs will be used to “detect situations in which poison is illegally used, as well as to detect poison on human and animal cadavers”.
The initiative is part of the ‘Life Imperial’ project, designed to protect the Iberian Imperial Eagle. It is the seventh most endangered bird of prey in the world and is often a victim of shootings and poisoning.
The dogs will be used mostly in the protected areas (ZPE) of Castro Verde, Vale do Guadiana, Mourão/Moura/Barrancos, Tejo Internacional, Erges and Pônsul.
GNR police believe that the dogs will improve the police force’s ability to control the threat of poisonings and “facilitate the launch of criminal proceedings relating to poisonings”.