In 2020, the biosecurity detector’s dog fleet intercepted approximately 13,500 risk items and checked 15,706,488 million mail items nationwide, but only one dog was crowned Top Dog of 2020.
Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management Secretary David Littleproud said any of these could have threatened Australia’s $ 61 billion agribusiness, the environment and public health.
“Detector dogs are an essential part of Australia’s defense against harmful biosecurity threats,” said Minister Littleproud.
“With detector dogs newly introduced in 2020 to primarily screen mail, biosecurity risks in ports without a dog continued to be effectively managed through alternative screening methods.
“Front runner Ulf has worked at Brisbane Airport, Brisbane Post Office and Brisbane Harbor and discovered over 80 different goods in the past year.
“Ulf carried out over 400 detections, of which 27 were ASF risk detections and 27 led to violations.
“The most common items the detector dogs found in 2020 were seeds and nuts, fruit and meat.
“Some unusual finds were hidden seeds taped on the inside of a brochure, brown, marbled stink bugs on an imported forklift truck, and cactus seeds mistakenly labeled as window decorations.
“The detector dogs also discovered meat products that can transmit a number of exotic diseases, including foot and mouth disease, a highly contagious viral disease in animals, and one of the most serious animal diseases.
“There are currently 42 biosecurity detector dogs at our international airports, postal facilities, and wharves to screen incoming passengers and goods for potential biosecurity risks, including those that carry exotic pests and diseases.
“Dogs are man’s best friend and detector dogs are agriculture’s best friend and protect our valuable industries from foreign pests.”
- Male yellow labrador
- Date of birth: 07/10/2014
- Completion: 10/06/2016
- Transfer from SYD to BNE 23/10/2019
- 400 detections
- 80 different goods discovered
- 27 violations
- 47 ASF risk identification
- Most frequently detected goods: fruit (157 references), meat and meat products (99 references), vegetables (37 references).
- Worked at Brisbane Airport, Brisbane Postal Facilities and Brisbane Port
- Ulf is an extremely robust detector dog. He enjoys going to work and is not distracted by screaming children, changing surroundings or stressful noises. He’s bored on his days off. He will be longingly looking for someone to take him to work.
- He loves water and will play in the pool and sprinklers. Unfortunately, he also loves to dig and roll in the sandpit immediately afterwards, which makes it very difficult to keep clean.
- As soon as Ulf has mastered something, he is extremely reliable. It’s hard to imagine his best discoveries as he’s more of an all-rounder, finding a wide variety of items in varying amounts, smells, and locations. These items included seed pods in farm machinery, live potted plants, small pieces of plant material in people’s pockets, seeds hidden in clothing, and of course, he loves to find meat.
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