A programme of using sniffer dogs to track down wildlife smuggling is proving a success in border regions of the Russian Far East (RFE).
44 dogs dogs in the Far Eastern Operative Customs’ sniffer dog service have been specially trained to locate wildlife parts, in particular to recognize Tiger scent. Their expertise has resulted in several arrests, particularly in Birobidzhan on the Chinese border, where wildlife seizures have included Tiger bones.
TRAFFIC and WWF Russia have provided technical advice and training for enforcement officers involved in detecting wildlife crime, and in May 2009 assisted during the training of 25 officers from all RFE regions working in the newly established sniffer dog service.
There are plans to expand the use of dogs, with the construction of a sniffer dog training centre planned in Primorsky province in 2010. Currently possibilities are being explored for obtaining further wildlife scent samples for use in its training programmes. (Source: website TRAFFIC)