26 September 2023

Detector dogs graduate from ABF school

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The Australian Border Force (ABF) has warmly welcomed three new detector dogs to its national army of skilled safety employees.

All the dogs and their handlers have graduated with honours from the National Detector Dog Program Facility in Melbourne, completing eight months of rugged training for the dogs and equally demanding skills for the handlers.

Commander of Tactical Capability with ABF, Rod Winchester congratulated the teams on their achievement, declaring the dogs – Hawk, Kath and Grayson –were specifically trained to detect explosives and would be posted to regions around Australia where security threats may be or could arise.

“We are very proud of our new graduates,” Cmdr Winchester said.

“We run a world class detector dog training program, but any program is only as good as those who are part of it,” he said,

He said detector dogs were trained to find illicit drugs, currency, explosives, firearms and tobacco in a range of environments and are able to screen large volumes of people and goods quickly and efficiently.

Cmdr Winchester said the ABF Detector Dog Program played an important role breeding and training detector dogs for the ABF and partner agencies.

“Last calendar year ABF detector dogs made more than 1,500 detections of illicit substances and prohibited items across airports, sea ports and postal gateways,” he said.

“The program services the needs of the ABF, as well as domestic and international law enforcement partners.”

Cmdr Winchester said the ABF had 79 dogs in active service around the country, with 49 detector dogs graduating since 2019.

For further information about the ABF Detector Dog Foster Carer program or to apply to become a foster carer, the Australian Border Force Detector Dog Program can be accessed at this PS News link.

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