An eight-year-old mine detection dog imported from Bosnia in 2014 died on Saturday due to cancer.
Heng Ratana, director-general of the Cambodian Mine Action Centre, today said Dia, the canine, died from breast cancer after serving for four years.
“We regret losing the mine detection dog because she was smart,” Mr Ratana said, noting that her 10 offspring will be trained to detect landmines and unexploded ordnance.
Mr Ratana said Dia was born in 2012 and was was trained for one year before she was deployed in 2015.
“A team, which included Dia and another dog, found 52 cluster bombs in Kampong Cham province,” he said.
Mr Ratana noted that CMAC’s Landmine/UXOs Dog Centre has 132 dogs.
However, Mr Ratana said CMAC will need additional canines to help clear fields ridden with unexploded ordnance.
“CMAC wants 250 dogs to serve as detectors because by doing so, we will be able to use less manpower,” he said, noting that a mine-clearing canine can cost between $35,000 and $50,000. “We can’t do it yet because these dogs are expensive.”
Full story in Monday’s paper