Tasmania’s borders will soon have a new team of 14 detector dogs helping to reduce the risk of biosecurity threats from entering the state and protecting our world-class natural environment, seafood, and agricultural sectors.
A new Detector Dog Unit Improvement Plan has been designed to bolster capabilities at our borders and provide the highest level of risk detection in Tasmania in recent years.
The new fleet of dogs will be a combination of field trial and working line detector dogs including Labradors, German short-haired pointers, springer spaniels and cocker spaniels, with the first group of dogs having recently completed training at Launceston Airport.
“Tasmania is world renowned for producing premium and safe produce, and our biosecurity system underpins our island brand,” Ryan Wilkinson, Acting General Manager of Biosecurity Tasmania said.
“As well as the 14 new dogs, the Plan includes upgrades of critical kennel infrastructure, initiatives to support the dogs’ enrichment and exercise requirements, best practice re-homing of our current fleet of beagles, and national recognised training for our handlers.”
A professional external retraining program will help some of our current fleet of beagles transition between the important biosecurity work they have spent the last several years doing, to well-deserved rest and relaxation in their forever homes.
The Biosecurity Tasmania detector dogs are trained to find items that could bring pests or diseases into Tasmania, including fresh fruit and vegetables, seeds, grains and other plant material, honey and honey products, meat and animal products and a range of seafood products.
The dogs and their handlers are also a highly visible deterrent for high-risk material entering the state.