Rodent Detector Dog Trial To Commence In February 2018

(Media release – 15/11/2017)

WorkingDogs_WD4C

The Government of South Georgia & the South Sandwich Islands (GSGSSI) is delighted to announce it will be working with ‘Working Dogs for Conservation’ (WD4C) to undertake a trial of a new rodent biosecurity detector dog programme. The trial is scheduled to take place between February and April 2018.

The dogs will be based in the Falkland Islands, and will be deployed on vessels to undertake biosecurity checks before they set sail to South Georgia. The project is an integral part of the enhanced biosecurity provision which is necessary following the work to eradicate invasive rodents from South Georgia by the South Georgia Heritage Trust. It complements a comprehensive range of other pre- and post-border biosecurity measures GSGSSI already has in place.

WD4C is a US (Montana) based organisation which builds upon the techniques used to train dogs in drug detection to pioneer ways to use a dogs sense of smell to detect a whole range of targets, including everything from invasive plants and invertebrates to illegally hunted ivory and endangered species. Over the coming months WD4C will begin the process of training the dogs to search out the species of rodent most commonly found on ships and getting them and their handlers ready for their journey south.

For more information on GSGSSI’s existing biosecurity provisions please see our latest biosecurity handbook, available at: www.gov.gs/biosecurity/. For more information on WD4C email Pete Coppolillo.