MPI Detector Dog Programme
The use of dogs for the detection of illegal substances, such as narcotics and explosives began in the 1960's. By the 1970's government agencies throughout the world were using detector dogs for various specialised tasks.
The MPI Biosecurity New Zealand's Detector Dog Programme began in 1995. The dogs are used to detect items of quarantine concern (See Restricted Items for further information on what items are considered risk goods). They are specially trained to search baggage, mail and cargo to locate undeclared or forgotten agricultural products.
There are now a number of passive response detector dog teams staffing all the major International Airports of New Zealand. There are also a number of active response dogs based in Auckland covering the International Mail Centre and International Cargo companies. These teams also combine to cover cruise ships that arrive from overseas destinations.
The MPI Biosecurity New Zealand has a National Training Centre in Auckland for the training and testing of new and existing detector dog teams. This facility can house up to 30 dogs, and also has breeding and whelping facilities. New Zealand's Detector Dog Programme has also been instrumental in setting up programmes, supplying dogs and training handlers for other countries such as Argentina Korea, Canada and Hawaii.
You can find out more about our Detector Dogs and learn more about our programme on the following pages:
- A Day in the Life of a Detector Dog
- History of Detector Dogs
- Requirements to be a Dog Handler
- How to to become a Puppy Walker
- So your dog wants to work for MPI Biosecurity New Zealand
Page last updated: 7 May 2013