Police in Kandy, Sri Lanka, have been forced to apologise for organising a group wedding for dogs after the culture minister damned the canine nuptials.
On Monday nine pairs of sniffer dogs, trained to detect drugs and explosives, were dressed in wedding garb, including hats and shawls, before being put through a ceremony sat on a traditional Buddhist platform.
'You may now lick the bride'
The marriages, witnessed by senior members of the local police, top veterinary surgeons and members of the public, were even register, before the hounds were taken in a decorated jeep to enjoy their "honeymoons".
After witnessing the publicity surrounding the weddings, T.B. Ekananayake, the country’s Culture and Arts Minister, condemned the event, saying it demeaned the human wedding ritual, before calling for an immediate investigation.
Buddhika Siriwardena, a spokesman for the Kandy police, quickly apologised, saying their only intention was to breed sniffer dogs locally in Sri Lanka.
In a statement, Siriwardena said: "This program is aimed at breeding dogs accustomed to local weather and food, thereby saving money."
Sri Lankan police spend thousands of dollars each year importing sniffer dogs from the Netherlands.