'Beagle on steroids' joins biosecurity team

  • 19/10/2015
'Beagle on steroids' joins biosecurity team

The Ministry for Primary Industries is super-sizing its biosecurity with a brand new "beagle on steroids".

Lou lou is the MPI's newest weapon in biosecurity with the harrier hound, which looks like a giant beagle, beginning work as a detector dog at Auckland Airport this week.

MPI manager Brett Hickman said the addition of Lou lou to the predominantly beagle and labrador detector dog line-up was a first for New Zealand, and possibly the world.

"Harriers have huge potential," he said today.

"Their extra height also gives them additional reach to scan backpacks or baggage that is stacked high on the trolley."

Lou lou and her handler are one of 12 MPI biosecurity detector dog teams that recently completed their training are set to begin work.

"The new dog teams will boost our biosecurity defences, particularly against plant materials that could contain fruit fly.

"They are one of a range of things we are doing this year to make it harder for fruit fly to enter New Zealand."