Beagle Brigade Steps Up to Keep Foreign Animal Disease Out

( Farm Journal's PORK )

U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) Agriculture Canine (K9) teams are making headlines as threats of African swine fever hitting U.S. soil are causing alarm within the pork industry.

Kevin Harriger, executive director for agriculture programs and trade liaison with CBP, says, “People will go to great lengths to bring in something they want. Most people don’t make the nexus between epidemiology and the spread of a foreign animal disease. They think if they want ham, they’ll bring ham into the U.S. with them. It’s that simple to them.”

Bringing agricultural products across the U.S. border without properly identifying them is illegal. It is one of the greatest threats to the United States’ efforts to stop the spread of foreign animal diseases (FADs) from entering the U.S. Working dogs provide an additional tool in detection of these prohibited agricultural items.

Harriger says beagles are the breed of choice for the agriculture mission due to their non-threatening appearance and kind nature, as well as their high drive for food, which is their reward. The beagles’ keen sense of smell is extremely effective in detecting agricultural products.

Watch the video below for more.

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