24 sniffer dogs graduate
The fight against biosecurity threats at the border is about to ramp up, with 24 dog detector teams going through their official graduation.
The canines and their handlers were welcomed to the frontline by Primary Industries Minister Nathan Guy at a ceremony in south Auckland today.
It's the single biggest boost of detector dog teams.
"Our summer season's rolling out. We've got increased passengers in the airports, increased cruise ships. Obviously a lot of possible fruit fly materials that could be coming over our borders. That's why we have these detection tools as well as the quarantine officers in place," says Ministry for Primary Industries detection technology manager Brett Hickman.
A new mobile x-ray unit was also unveiled at the graduation.
It will be used to screen the luggage of cruise ship passengers at several ports around New Zealand over the summer.