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Berlin police dogs and their handlers have officially been put on an enforced break over contradictions between how the dogs are handled and new animal cruelty laws.

On January 1st, a law went into effect that bans pulling collars, which are not only used by civilians, but also by police handlers. Pulling collars restrict dogs’ airflow and thus are used on Berlin police dogs to control their aggression as they hunt down perpetrators.

Other methods of controlling dogs that were also banned include pinch collars and other collars that inflict pain. Chaining dogs was also banned unless the situation was highly unique.

About 49 out of the 130 police dogs were temporarily removed from duty as these methods are under scrutiny. This move was made in order to keep police handlers from having to break the law as they control the police dogs.

Police spokesperson Thilo Cablitz, said, “We are currently unable to deploy a section of our service dogs due to changes in the animal protection act governing dogs.”

Berlin police have made it clear that they are open to other controlling methods but do not know how to replace the pulling collars just yet. 

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