Turning police dogs into robodogs.

There is much excitement in U.K police forces about the new innovation of turning their police dogs into what some sections of the the media have dubbed “Robodogs.” if it is not already enough to have them risking injury and death in their duties of tracking villains, chasing and restraining them, sniffing bank notes, drugs and firearms and spending a lot of their lives crammed into the back of police cars, they now have to wear a one kilo helmet as well as body armour.

According to the police, “The camera is exactly what we have been looking for to move our firearms support capabilities forward. The camera is simple to use, fits in perfectly with our IT systems and is cost-effective.

“Dogs do not have an issue wearing them”

Apparently “the camera is light, comfortable and mounts easily to the dog’s head weighing 1kg and has been designed to be comfortable for the dog to wear. The dogs really haven’t had an issue getting used to it.” But if dogs could talk they might not entirely agree with the description or of being viewed as a mobile four-legged tripod to mount the thing on. It is hardly natural. Unfortunately I can visualise that it will not be long before these camera helmets will be available to everyone and we will see dogs hurtling around parks and the countryside taking videos for vloggers.

How long will it be before police dogs have guns strapped to them.

The stated hope is that these helmets will “transform firearms situations” and this means that the dogs will be sent in first to film the situation before sending in a human officer, but will be no help if the dog is attacked. The dogs will still face the same risks as when they are presently sent in to tackle armed offenders, but at least we will have video of it for the tv documentaries. One wonders how long it will be before remote guns are strapped to them.

They will join the ranks of their comrades in the military in having to endure protective clothing and perform dangerous duties to save their human comrades but hopefully not suffering the same horrific injuries like Kuno, the British military dog.

Robot dog.
Could these robot dogs perhaps replace them one day?

Of course, we already have robodogs in the form of Robot Dogs but these are sill under training, less mobile and probably out of the police’s price range, but who knows they might replace police and military dogs in the future, but only if they can be taught/programmed to smell.

Although loved by their handlers and riders police dogs and horses have always been treated as pieces of police equipment or property. After much pressure over the years it has been an offence since 2019 to injure a police animal under Finn’s law, but as we know human officers are attacked on a daily basis so what hope for the dogs and horses.  It still raises the question of whether it is ethically and morally fair to intentionally put animals in harm’s way in the first place?  Would it not be better to restrict them to ceremonial use or purely as “search” and “sniffer” dogs who appear to have a fun time at work.

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2022 Grand National Results. 2 Dead & 23 Non Finishers.

Another Grand National, more unnecessary deaths, suffering and injury, more empty promises of better safety. The only solution is to ban the race.

Another Grand National has come to pass with the usual annual outrage and furore over the tragic and unnecessary deaths, suffering and injury to the horses. The 2022 event again witnessed the same carnage as previous years with 25 (60%) of the 40 horses not finishing because they were not fit enough to do so and 2 deaths to add to the long list over the decades. One sustained a traumatic head injury and was treated overnight by a team of specialist vets at Liverpool university to no avail. Two other horses died in other races at the event.

Meanwhile commentators and broadcasters reported on the jolly good time everyone had, how wonderful the ladies looked in their finery and what a fairy tale ending it was for the winning jockey, but of course as usual it was not a fairy-tale for the struggling horses.

Futile Grand National protests from animal charities.

The millionaire amateur jockey received a 9 day ban and £400 fine for over whipping the winning horse, a pointless punishment as he is now retired and when interviewed assured everyone that the welfare of his horse was at the forefront of everything he did.

The RSPCA and League Against Cruel Sports charities made their futile protestations for better safety standards as they do every year. These of course are met with the usual responses from the racing authorities who insist they have introduced measures over the last decade that have reduced the injury rate which is blatantly not so.

Racehorses falling at fence
Can anyone honestly suggest horses enjoy this?

Ban the Grand National

The calls for stricter safety measures that follow every Grand National will come to nothing because the only realistic way of making it safe for the horses is to ban the event altogether and this will never happen.

It will never happen because the National is proclaimed as the most famous race in the world, the most prestigious and popular event of the year and a ritual beloved by most of the British public. It also makes many people rich and swells the coffers of the betting and equine industry, Treasury and associated businesses. Realistically it is impossible to put a stop to it.

But is it really worth the lives and suffering of so many horses? Well, it would appear that in most people’s eyes the answer is yes. So, it is probably time to accept that the UK is not the nation of animal lovers with the best animal welfare legislation in the world, because if it was, we would not allow this to happen every year.

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