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New MPI biosecurity detector dog teams for Auckland

New MPI biosecurity detector dog teams for Auckland

Two new biosecurity detector dog teams will start on 30 June (Monday) at Auckland with the job of sniffing out exotic pests and diseases that pose biosecurity risk to New Zealand, says the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI).

Kim Hughes and Lucy Telfar graduated from their training at a ceremony in Auckland earlier this month, along with 25 other new biosecurity frontline staff, including two other detector dog handlers who will start soon in Auckland.

The appointments bring the number of detector dog teams patrolling the city’s international airport, port, cargo and mail centre up to 26.

Kim will work with detector dog Enya (labrador), who has previous experience as a detector dog. Lucy will work with new detector dog Clara (beagle).

“The new dog teams will allow greater biosecurity scrutiny across a range of pathways, including more visits to regional locations,” says Border Clearance Services Manager Steve Gilbert.

He says detector dog teams are very useful for detecting biosecurity risks when used with other checks.

“No tool is sufficient to manage biosecurity by itself. Dogs are good at picking up seeds and plants that can be hard to detect by x-ray. They also screen people faster than x-ray, and their visual presence is a significant factor,” he says.


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