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Hero military dogs were put down every two weeks last year.

Defence chiefs are facing calls for an investigation into how the armed forces treats animals following the revelation.

The figures mean more than 1,500 dogs have been killed by Army vets since 2000 as they were regarded as not fit to serve.

Latest Government statistics show 19 dogs were destroyed in 2020 on health grounds, and five for safety reasons.

Now former shadow defence minister Kevan Jones, has called for an inquiry. He said: “Defence dogs play an important part in UK defence efforts.

“Euthanasia should only be undertaken for good medical reasons, and as a last resort.”

The Daily Star Sunday first highlighted the issue in 2018 when we revealed hundreds of healthy dogs were being put down as they were “old and worn out”.

Labour MP Mr Jones added: “The Ministry of Defence needs to justify these figures and its policy on how it deals with dogs at the end of their working lives.”

All the dogs destroyed by Ministry of Defence vets had served on combat operations and been directly responsible for saving the lives of British servicemen.

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Many were put down after being classed as too dangerous to rehome. Others were deemed to be “old and worn out” according to MOD documents. And others were destroyed for “failing to maintain standards” and “welfare reasons”.

An Army spokesman said: “A military working dog is only euthanised if it poses an unacceptable risk to the safety of people or has a medical condition causing unnecessary suffering, and only after a full assessment by military veterinarians and dog behaviourists.

“The dogs provide an invaluable service to our personnel. Every effort is made to rehome them at the end of their service life.”

  • Daily Star Sunday
  • Animals
  • Military

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