The illegal wildlife trade is a horrendous trade that makes money out of animal cruelty and helps to push numerous wildlife species to the brink of extinction. The use of working dogs has increased significantly in Southern and Eastern parts of Africa due to their prowess, powerful sense of smell and detection abilities.
However, these detection dogs are not always properly cared for – they do not receive adequate training or proper care. As the International Fund for Animal Welfare (IFAW) states: “The use of dogs is carried out with little transparency in terms of methods, success and outcomes for dogs. There are indications that dogs are being mistreated and/or their welfare is not uniformly cared for as demand for them increases. Commercialisation of conservation dogs is a threat to dog welfare and ultimately to the success of the law enforcement programs.”
Since the dogs are an integral part of law enforcement programs, IFAW decided to develop a training program for the canine units in Cotonou, Benin. It is designed to extend the security mission of the canine brigade in the fight against wildlife crime and strengthen its technical and operational capacity. The program is specifically designed to help dogs detect animal parts like ivory and pangolin scales, and it trains dog handlers, who might not have had any experience working with canine units, at the same time.
Almo Nature/Fondazione Capellino wanted to support this project by providing free dog food to the canine units. The project has a wide scope and a holistic approach as it touches upon animal welfare, conservation, as well as environmental concerns. Not only will IFAW’s project help address wildlife crime by disrupting trafficking chains and building enforcement capacity, it will also improve the quality of life for canine units by increasing welfare standards for the dogs and providing best practices for their handlers.
We are donating high quality food to the dogs that will be trained under the supervision of #IFAW as this project is important to animals as well as biodiversity. We are proud to be able to support this project that showcases what we are all about. Everything is linked when you look closely enough – the money you spend on your companion’s nutrition actually helps wildlife in Africa. Cool right? Almo Nature made a radical choice to use all sales profits to develop and support projects that are aiming to facilitate the peaceful coexistence between humans and wildlife. In this specific case, we have been given the opportunity to support dogs who are tasked with the protection of other animals. This is something we can only do because of the dogs and cats who choose to eat our pet food: a circular and regenerative approach that is made possible by partnering with IFAW.
If you want to know more about the project, please take a look on the IFAW website. If you would like to know more about our projects, please click here or our partnerships, click here.