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ANIMAL TRANSPORT AND DOG SQUAD IN ITBP:-
Animal Transport (AT) is an integral part of all border guarding units of Indo-Tibetan Border Police tasked to operate in high altitude sub-zero terrain of the Indo-China border for supply of ammunition, rations, water, and other stores. The logistic convoys, consisting of ponies/mules/yaks and AT troops, have a pivotal role in keeping the Axis of Maintenance alive in areas where no roads exist.
The ponies/mules/yaks are the virtual lifeline for ITBP troops at the borders. When border incidents take place, it is the AT Detachment that keeps the supply chain open, by ensuring that the troops engaged in eye-ball-to-eye-ball vigil, had a steady supply of water, rations, and ammunition to secure the borders. Since the raising of the Force, the AT Detachment ensured that the troops were provided with the wherewithal to tenaciously hold ground in the desolate wind-swept terrain.
The ITBP policy of inducting local high altitude ponies has paid rich dividends by giving a fillip to the operational efficiency of the force by ensuring that logistics is kept alive in winters. These ponies are physiologically better attuned to the high-altitude conditions as compared to ponies from the plains or low hills.
ITBP Equestrian team has also exhibited outstanding performance in National and International Equestrian competitions. ITBP Equestrian team emerged as the Winner of the 40th All Indian Police Equestrian Championship & Mounted Police Duty Meet’ 2022 with 25 medals.
The ITBP Dog Squad is deployed in the security of its units and in Internal Security and VIP security duties. It is also being deployed in Anti-Sabotage Check duties during Republic & Independence Day Celebrations. The ponies/mules/yaks/dogs are considered to be a valuable ‘force multipliers’ by the troops, and are treated with lots of love and respect.
These four-legged ‘soldiers’ who accompany troops in logistical tasks and internal security duties are being decorated with special medals annually. The Horses/Ponies/Mules/Yaks are being awarded with ‘ITBP Animal Transport Medal’ and dogs with ‘ITBP K9 Medal’. Equines, canines and troops of ITBP are given specialized training at National Training Centre for Dog & Animals (NTCD&A), Bhanu (Haryana) and Animal Training School (ATS), Lohitpur, Tezu (Arunachal Pradesh). The institutes are also imparting specialized training to other Central Armed Police Forces, State Police Organizations and Police Forces of friendly foreign countries.
ITBP has a strong cadre of Veterinary Officers responsible for the healthcare and management of animals.