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Tag: customs

No charges likely in New Zealand dog barbecue

The SPCA in New Zealand is calling for a change in the law after its investigation into the killing and cooking of a pet dog by a Tongan family in Auckland.

As long as the animal is slaughtered humanely — how’s that for a contradiction of terms? — eating a dog is not illegal  in New Zealand.

The family who barbecued their pet dog say back home in Tonga dog meat is considered a delicacy, and they didn’t realize they were doing anything wrong.

Paea Taufa was found roasting his pitbull mix in a pit at his home. The dog had been skinned and gutted and was partially charred when SPCA inspectors arrived.

Auckland City’s mayor, John Banks, said the family needs to be educated rather than charged with a crime, according to the New Zealand Herald.

Banks, an animal rights activist for years, says better education on local customs and sensibilities is needed. “This activity is deeply offensive and totally wrong in our New Zealand society. For many people, this is absolutely repulsive,” the mayor said. “But the way forward is education. This man has obviously not been taught that killing and eating a domestic pet is not right in New Zealand.”

Muslims offended by dog named Anwar Sadat

iloveyoumanAnwar Sadat’s daughter has filed a complaint against the makers of “I Love You Man,” a 2009 Dreamworks film, for naming a dog after the former president of Egypt, her lawyer said Saturday.

“This is a disaster, a serious affront,” said Samir Sabri, the lawyer for Rokaya Sadat, daughter of the former president and peace Nobel prize winner.

Muslims believe dogs are impure and unclean, and calling someone a dog is taken as a serious insult in the Middle East.

Egypt’s prosecutor will look into the complaint, but it is unclear what sort of action Egyptian courts could take against the Hollywood movie company, the Associated Press reported.

In the movie, actor Jason Segel’s character has a dog — it appears to be a puggle — named Anwar Sadat. When asked if it’s because he likes the former president’s policies, the character replies it is due to the dog’s resemblance to the Egyptian leader. The name of the dog also appears in the credits as Anwar Sadat, playing himself, the dog.

When the film opened in Egypt last month, the scene with the dog was excised by the distributor, but it came to light anyway when the scene was publicized by an Egyptian website.

“This has caused serious psychological and moral damages to the plaintiff, as President Sadat is a prominent figure in the Arab history in general and in Egyptian history in particular,” the lawyer’s brief said. “Everyone agrees that he is a unique leader who was politically savvy, and has worked hard to serve his country.”

Commentators in Egypt have called the movie, which grossed more than $71 million in the U.S., another in a long series of slights against Arabs and Muslims in Hollywood, which kind of makes one wonder why it would end up in theaters there in the first place.

Sabri said he has also filed a libel lawsuit against the Egypt’s minister of information, demanding that copies of the movie be removed from the market, because it has “gravely tarnished the name and history of the leader … and symbol of the nation.”

Sadat ruled Egypt between 1970 and 1981, when he was assassinated by Islamic militants who rejected the peace deal he signed with Israel two years before.

Cloned drug-sniffing dogs on duty in Seoul

Six cloned drug-sniffing dogs have gone on duty at Seoul-Incheon International Airport in South Korea.

The dogs are among seven genetic duplicates of a single Labrador retriever named Chase, cloned at Seoul National University for use by the Korean Customs Service.

The dogs, having completed 16 months of training, will work at the airport and three other customs checkpoints to deter drug smuggling, according to the Associated Press.

They are part of a litter of seven born in 2007 through cloning a skilled drug-sniffing canine in active service. They were all named “Toppy” — a combination of the words “tomorrow” and “puppy.” One dropped out of training due to an injury.

The cloning  was conducted by a team of Seoul National University scientists who in 2005 successfully created the world’s first dog clone, an Afghan hound named Snuppy.

The customs service says using clones could help reduce costs due to the difficulties in finding dogs qualified to sniff out contraband. Only about three of every 10 naturally born dogs the service trains end up qualifying for the job.

Framed: Dog detects marijuana in artworks

Eye-catching as the paintings might have been, it was their frames that caught the nose of a U.S. Customs drug-sniffing dog on the Mexico-Arizona border.

Federal officials say a man was taken into custody Friday after Customs and Border Protection officers found 90 pounds of marijuana hidden in the frames of six large paintings in his vehicle.

Officers selected the man’s vehicle for a routine inspection Friday at the border crossing in Douglas, Ariz., and their dog alerted to the paintings. An X-ray revealed the marijuana in the frames.

The man was being held pending the filing of charges, according to an Associated Press report.

The agency says the paintings were professionally done and the frames were nicely constructed.