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Muslim passengers may not be touched by sniffer dogs of the British Transport Police after complaints that the practice is against Islam. According to the religion, dogs are deemed to be spiritually "unclean".

A Transport Department report has raised the prospect that animals should only touch passengers' luggage because it is considered "more acceptable", the Daily Express reported. The ban may restrict the efficiency of sniffer dog squads which have been trained to spot terrorists at railway stations.

On Thursday night, British Transport Police insisted that it would still use sniffer dogs with any passengers regardless of faith, but handlers would remain aware of "cultural sensitivities".

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