Man’s best friend trained to seek out banned agriculture.Â Will your farm products be next?
Los Angeles – Just a few miles from the lights and glamour of Hollywood, inside of one of the world’s busiest airports a group of highly specialized four-legged officers hold the first line of defense against harmful pests and diseases.
They are not famous stars or cartoon heroes. They are the some of the real “superdogs” of CBP. Everyday they detect and intercept foreign threats that can potentially devastate California’s multibillion-dollar agricultural industry.
CBP canine officers with their canines in Los Angeles trained to detect prohibited agriculture products
“A lot of people relate sniffing dogs to narcotics, but these canines specialize in detecting plants, fruits, vegetables, meat products and all other sorts of prohibited agricultural products,” said Kevin Weeks, director of Field Operations for U.S. Customs and Border Protection in Los Angeles. CBP has several types of “superdogs” which are trained to sniff narcotics, humans, explosives or money.
Over a period of 72 hours (Friday July 24 to Sunday July 26), CBP’s beagles at Los Angeles International Airport intercepted 81 international passengers carrying prohibited items from overseas. The interceptions consisted of 76 plants and 26 animal products weighing a total of 104 pounds.
“These dogs are unique; they are smart, friendly and are extremely effective in accomplishing the CBP mission,” added Weeks.
So next time you travel through LAX be aware of the CBP’s “superdogs”.
On a typical day in fiscal year 2008, CBP seized 4,125 prohibited meats, plant materials or animal products and intercepted 435 agricultural pests at ports of entry.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation’s borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.