Q litter members join dogged biosecurity detection team

Sheep Central, April 26, 2023

ANOTHER four biosecurity detector dogs have been added to the team protecting Australia from increased biosecurity threats.

Following their graduation in March, the four new detector dogs from the ‘Q’ litter — Quatro, Quizzy, Quigley and Quita – are already making important finds of biosecurity risk material at the border.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Murray Watt said the new dogs are part of the Albanese Government’s $11.7 million commitment to increase the numbers of detector dog teams at the border over four years.

“Detector dogs and their handlers are on the front line of our biosecurity system which protects Australia from pests and diseases that pose a risk to our agricultural industry,”

“Our newest graduates are deployed to border screening locations in Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney and they are already intercepting biosecurity risk goods,” Mr Watt said.

“Biosecurity detector dogs are fast, versatile and mobile, and can effectively screen goods and people in range of environments, including airports, mail centres and seaports.

“Our government will continue to focus its efforts on strengthening Australia’s biosecurity system,” he said.

“Increasing the number of biosecurity detector dogs and their handlers is one way we are protecting our agricultural industry.

“We have provided funding over a four-year period to fulfill our government’s election commitment to provide an additional 20 biosecurity detector dogs and handlers by July 2024.”

On average, the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry’s detector dogs find up to 9000 biosecurity risk items during their working life. The three most common items found are meat, seeds, and fruit. The biosecurity detector dog program is comprised of 54 operational detector dogs.

Biosecurity detector dogs are trained to find nine target odour groups that translate into more than 200 different biosecurity risk commodities.

These target odour groups include fresh fruit, vegetables and other plant material; seeds; eggs; dairy; meat; Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs and queen bees.

Source: DAFF.


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