Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - CMAC trains dogs to sniff out mines

CMAC trains dogs to sniff out mines

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
Dogs have greatly assisted CMAC officers in their demining operations, exploring narrow forest areas inaccessible to people. CMAC

CMAC trains dogs to sniff out mines

Cambodian Mine Action Centre (CMAC) director-general Heng Ratana expressed his pride over the CMAC dog training programme on Wednesday, saying it had trained over 200 canines to participate in mine clearance.

Ratana told The Post on that the dogs were imported from the Swedish Army. The first dog training session was held in 1996 and finished in 2002. Since that time, Cambodia has taken more ownership of the programme and strengthened it.

Cambodia would not forget the good deeds of Sweden and other development partners, Ratana said.

“However, if we do not strengthen our ownership, we would not reach this state. It would mean that we are not independent and we would be in trouble when the programme ends,” he said.

The dogs purchased from abroad cost between $30,000 and $40,000 each. Out of the 200 dogs CMAC trained, Ratana said 100 could be used in mine-clearing operations.

He said the programme can produce 80 to 100 puppies per year and 70 to 80 per cent of them can start the mine-clearing training.

“Among 100 puppies we bought to train, only six were successfully trained to be mine-clearance dogs. We now train them by ourselves. Our dogs are highly capable, which is a great pride for us,” Ratana said.

CMAC has trained its dogs to do more than smell for mines. The dogs also assist with unexploded ordnance (UXO) research, he said.

Dogs have greatly assisted CMAC officers in their demining operations. People can only find mines in big areas but dogs can explore narrow areas in forests, he said.

He said training expert dogs produces long-term benefits. Dogs are used widely in the army by neighbouring countries, including Thailand and Vietnam.

These countries use dogs to ensure their security, he said.

In its history, CMAC has cleared more than 2.9 million mines and UXOs covering about 1,200sq km, Ratana said.


  • Municipal hall releases map detailing colour coded Covid risks by commune

    Phnom Penh municipal governor Khuong Sreng released an official map detailing the red, yellow and dark yellow zones within the city under the new lockdown orders for Phnom Penh announced on April 26. The designation of red, dark yellow and yellow corresponds to areas with high,

  • Inter-provincial travel ban lifted; Phnom Penh and Takmao not exempted

    The government on April 25 decided to lift the inter-provincial travel ban and the closure of tourist attractions across the country, effectively immediately. The travel ban and closures of all resorts were imposed on April 6 and 17 respectively in a bid to curb the spread of Covid-19,

  • Phnom Penh unveils rules for post-lockdown transition

    The Phnom Penh Municipal Administration issued a set of detailed guidelines for the seven days to May 12 after the capital emerges from lockdown at the onset of May 6. In the 14-page document signed by municipal governor Khuong Sreng released on the evening of May 5, the

  • Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown extended for another week

    The government late on April 26 announced an extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province for another seven days – or longer if residents do not comply with Covid-19 preventive measures and the community outbreak does not subside – until May 5. According

  • Gov't mulls extension of Phnom Penh, Takmao lockdown

    The Inter-ministerial National Commission for the Control and Enforcement of Lockdown held a video conference meeting on April 25 to review a draft document on the extension of lockdown in Phnom Penh and adjacent Kandal province’s Takmao town. The meeting was chaired by Minister of

  • Gov’t issues guidelines as lockdown nears end

    The government has issued a five-page set of instructions to be enforced when the three-week lockdown of Phnom Penh and adjacent Takmao town in Kandal province ends on May 6. According to an announcement signed by Prime Minister Hun Sen on May 4, the instructions cover a