Leicester

Minister calls for army dog death reprieve

Dazz in Mod publicity shot Image copyright MOD
Image caption One of the dogs, Dazz, was featured in MoD publicity shots at the Defence Animal Centre

A minister has called for a reprieve for two "hero" army dogs which face being destroyed.

Kevin and Dazz, both Belgian shepherds, were deployed in Afghanistan and were retired from the front line in 2013.

They have since been at the Defence Animal Centre in Melton Mowbray, Leicestershire, but officials say they are too aggressive to rehome.

Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan has written to the Ministry of Defence (MoD) to call for a review.

Image copyright MOD
Image caption The dogs have been trained to show aggression which makes rehoming difficult

The Belgian shepherds went on patrol with troops in Afghanistan and were used for their aggression.

The MoD originally stated: "Wherever possible, we endeavour to re-home them [dogs] at the end of their service life.

"Sadly, there are some occasions where this is not possible."

Former soldiers and handlers criticised the decision and former soldier turned author Andy McNab has started an online petition, which has nearly 50,000 signatures.

Sir Alan, the MP for Melton and Rutland and Minister of State for Europe and the Americas, said: "These are hero dogs who have fought fearlessly alongside our soldiers.

"Let us now be the ones to fight for them and give them a chance to live happy lives where they can thrive. It is the least they deserve."

He added any danger to people "must be proven" before they are put down.

The MoD has been contacted for further response.

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