A Standard Schnauzer named Rita Ora has joined the Slovak police to help save raptors.
"We regard the killing of animals, using poisoned bait, as one of the most serious forms of environmental crime," said Mário Kern, head of the department of detection of dangerous substances and environmental crime, as quoted on the Interior Ministry's website.
The dog, which has been trained to find chemical substances used for the production of poisons, is the first specially trained dog in this area within the police, the ministry informed.
A German Shepherd called Nero will join Rita Ora soon.
71 poisoned birds of prey
Although Rita Ora, named after the successful British artist, cannot sing the famous song Poison, she can search for poisoned bait such as meat and help to save raptors in Slovakia.
"We are convinced we will be able to reduce bird crime to the lowest possible level with the help of these dogs," said Jozef Chavko, head of the Raptor Protection Slovakia organisation, as quoted on the website.
To make bait, poisoners usually use carbofuran, which has been prohibited in the European Union since 2008 as it can also kill a human being.
"Last year, a total of 71 raptors were poisoned, including rare species – two royal eagles and nine white-tailed sea eagles," Chavko added.
The total social value of poisoned birds of prey is €136,740.
Raptor Protection Slovakia bought the Standard Schnauzer for the Interior Ministry from the Czech Republic.
14. Jan 2019 at 13:49 | Compiled by Spectator staff