Detector dogs at Auckland Biosecurity Centre
Last week KVH staff visited the Auckland Biosecurity Centre to see first-hand MPI’s detector dog programme.
MPI have their own detector dog breeding programme which is a cost effective way of producing fit for purpose biosecurity detector dogs. The breeding programme now has 40 dog teams operating throughout New Zealand at various ports of entry.
MPI now have detector dogs at all cruise ship first port of arrivals and many second port of arrivals. Detector dogs are now used to screen disembarking passengers from 150 cruise ships. This has resulted in the seizure of 500 risk items, of which 76 percent was fresh produce (of particular concern given its capacity to host fruit fly).
Detector dogs have been a fundamental component of biosecurity interventions at the border for many years. MPI is now also working to train a new line of dogs for a different purpose, post-border incursions. These incursion dogs can be used in the field and trained to detect any pest and may be especially useful for pests for which there are no pheromone traps available.
Photo: Darcy, a three month old beagle from the breeding programme who is likely to become a biosecurity detector dog.