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New MPI biosecurity detector dog team for Christchurch

New MPI biosecurity detector dog team for Christchurch

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

Kimberley Sell graduated from training as a dog handler at a ceremony in Auckland earlier this month, along with 28 other new biosecurity frontline staff.

It will also be the first day for Helga, a two year-old labrador, who has been training with Kimberley over the last 12 weeks.

Kimberley and Helga will be the fifth detector dog team based in Christchurch.

The new dog team will work at both the local port and airport.

“The new team will allow greater biosecurity scrutiny of flights and cruise ships. It will also free up resource for more visits to regional locations,” says Border Clearance Services Manager Steve Gilbert.

“Detector dog teams are very useful for detecting biosecurity risks when used with other checks,” Mr Gilbert says.

“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.

ENDS

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