Friday, 29 January 2016

"Diesel prevented the death of police officers and is a symbol for all the victims of terrorist in the world," said Loic Evain of the French Ministry of Agriculture, recalling the French special forces blitz at the Saint-Denis den of the Bataclan terrorists, on November 18th, 2015. On behalf of the Italian Ministry of Health, Director General for Animal Health Silvio Borrello recalled the importance of cooperation between the institutions in the control and prevention of animal and human diseases.

The event was opened by Rector Massimo Carpinelli, who reminded the crucial role of the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Sassari, an academic unit that deserves the utmost support and is the only one available of the island of Sardinia. The Director of the Department, Eraldo Sanna Passino, offered a brief history of the relationship between men and dogs, and announced that the renewal of the agreement between the University and ASL Sassari for rescue stray animals had just been signed: "The service will be restored on February 1st", he said.

Director of the Prevention Service Franco Sgarangella participated on behalf of ASL Sassari: "Our vets were crushed by the killing of Diesel the dog – he said - for the generosity and loyalty of the sniffer dogs trained to defend men, at the cost of their own lives. There has always been a special relationship between veterinarians and the dogs trained for law enforcement and we immediately welcomed the initiative".

The Director-General of the Istituto Zooprofilattico of Sardinia, Alberto Laddomada, recalled the close cooperation between the IZS and the Department of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Sassari, and explained briefly the purpose of the bilateral Italy-France meeting, held in Sassari on January 21-22, to deal with sensitive issues connected to public health, such as the "blue tongue" epidemic, and propose a cooperation between Sardinia and Corsica. French Honorary Consul of Sassari Giovanni Pinna Parpaglia took the floor.

A sculpture created by the students of the "Mario Sironi" Sassari Academy of Fine Arts in memory of Diesel, a Malinois dog, was unveiled in the middle of the garden. The sculpture consists of two light-blue iron silhouettes supported by seven braces to recall the dog's age. As Director of the Department of Visual Arts of the Academy Sisinnio Usai explained, when the work is completed with other elements, it will become a "Choir for Diesel". At the end of the ceremony, Don Angelo Daniel blessed the sculpture.

Maestro Salvatore Moraccini performed the French and Italian national anthems and the Italian Army's Il Silenzio, before giving the floor to a practical demonstration of sniffer dogs by the State Police and the Guardia di Finanza, which attended the ceremony with the Sniffer Dog Unit of the Carabinieri Legion. Coldiretti Sardegna supported the event.