Dog squads now sniff out contraband products
27 Jan 2015
| by |
For forest and wildlife departments across the country, poaching and illegal trade is one of the most difficult battle that they are trying to win. In the last couple of years, the forest and wildlife departments in the country have partnered with an International Wildlife Trade Monitoring Network called TRAFFIC. This monitoring network has trained several batches of dogs that help the security personnel by sniffing out contraband products at entry & check points in the forests.
One of the main reasons to employ dogs for this difficult task is because dogs have an incredible sense of smell. These dogs have been trained intensively for nine months to detect tiger and leopard parts, bear bile and other wildlife products such as ivory, rhino horns, sea turtles and pangolins. The trained dogs of TRAFFIC are now being seen as an integral part of the global effort to intercept illegal wildlife and wildlife products at various airports, shipping ports and other public transport centers such as bus stations & train stations. Since the starting of the program in 2008, more than 80 successful contraband seizures have been undertaken by these trained sniffer dogs. It has also been observed that due to the presence of these dogs, the hunting and poaching activity around the major forests has considerably reduced.
TRAFFIC has partnered with the 23rd Battalion of Special Armed Forces, MP, Police Dog Training Center, Bhopal and National Dog Training Center, ITBP Camp, Panchkula for the training of the sniffer dogs. Along with the dogs, forest department employees also undergo training as dog handlers. Once the training is complete, the handler and the dog are posted to different forest zones across the country. Though the training costs INR 3 lacs, the end result has been beneficial and highly appreciated.
Some of the merited sniffer dogs in TRAFFIC are:
Jimmy - Posted in Madhya Pradesh- Jimmy has busted at least 25 wildlife poaching and smuggling cases
Raja - Posted in Bhrampuri Wildlife Division, Maharashtra- Raja has helped arrest 7 poachers in the area
Jackie - Posted in Madhya Pradesh- Jackie has helped apprehend 2 poachers with illegal animal traps and live Grey Francolins
The Sniffer dog squad has been of great help in Wildlife crime investigation too. One of the trained
- Tracey, along with her two handlers, led the team to the place where missing tusks had been hidden. German Shepherds
Source: Business Standard