Odour Detection Dogs Now At Work To Protect Agricultural Industry

Odour Detection Dogs Now At Work To Protect Agricultural Industry

Northern Territory Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby

Dogs Helping To Protect Our Agricultural Jobs

Victor P Taffa

Assistance of odour detection dogs has the Northern Territory Government on track to eradicate browsing ants from the Northern Territory by November 2021.

“As well as creating jobs, the Territory Government is protecting the jobs we already have.” Minister for Primary Industry and Resources Paul Kirby said.

“Our agricultural sector is worth $500 Million and employs hundreds of Territorians, so it is vital we do all we can to eradicate pests that could jeopardise the success of the industry.”

Black Labradors Willow and Cola are visiting the Territory this month as part of the National Browsing Ant Eradication Program and have been visiting local properties to sniff out the pests.

Pair are the only dogs in the world trained to detect invasive ants and play a vital role in protecting Australia from exotic pests and diseases by identifying exotic pests.

There are currently 20 properties in Darwin that have had browsing ants detected on the premise, including sites in East Arm, Frances Bay, Berrimah and Wickham Point.

Odour detection dogs’ surveillance abilities are integral to sniffing out the pests as their ability to cover 2 ha a day makes them much more efficient than traditional visual surveillance methods; which involve humans walking and scanning the ground or attracting ants to food baits.

Dogs have begun surveillance at a recently-detected infested site at a transport logistics business in East Arm and identified a nest at the base of a light pole, as well as 5 other areas of browsing ant activity which have been treated.

Program staff are working closely with the business to ensure the risk is contained and there is minimal disruption to their operational activities.

Browsing ants are exotic to Australia and pose a threat to Australia’s environment and agricultural industries.