By Alex Glenn • 04 January 2022 • 10:24
Spain's National Police announce reinforcements ahead of Europa League final in Seville. Image: @policia/ Twitter
Specially trained detector dogs are set to hunt down exotic animal diseases.
A new detector dog squad has been set up in Scotland that will stop exotic animal diseases from being imported. The dogs have been specially trained and can sniff out products of animal origin.
The Scottish government plans to use the dogs to help prevent African swine fever from entering the country. The dogs will be based at airports and ports.
Rural Affairs Secretary Mairi Gougeon commented: “The Scottish Government and Border Force have worked closely to get the dogs operational in Scotland. Alongside their handlers, they have taken part in a robust training regime and now that they have passed their assessments they can get to work and help us detect PoAO entering Scotland illegally.
“The Scottish Government investment in our new detector dog service will enhance the detection of illegal products of animal origin and reduce the risk of exotic diseases entering Scotland, thus helping to keep our rural economy safe.
“Monthly seizure data provided by Border Force North helps us ascertain where PoAO originate from and helps us identify periods where seizures are above average. We work closely with colleges and universities to ensure that international students studying in Scotland are aware of rules regarding the import of PoAO.
“It’s important for people to remember when travelling, particularly during the festive period, that they should not bring any meat or meat products with them when returning to the UK as they could carry diseases such as African swine fever. It is vital to keep the UK’s pig sector safe and free from this devastating disease.”
The Assistant Director for Border Force Scotland Marie Craig explained how the dogs will protect the UK. She said: “Border Force detector dogs protect the UK from over a tonne of potentially harmful products that could spread disease each year.
“The deployment of specially trained detector dogs across our ports in Scotland will further improve our ability to protect the public from the importation of exotic diseases.”
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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