Canines back to the sniffing business at British airports

Canines back to the sniffing business at British airports
Photo by Jeff Yapalater

Dogs capable of detecting minute traces of explosives concealed in airfreight are being re-deployed in cargo sheds at British airports. This occurs at a time when the USA is increasing its canine security functions at JFK, inparticular.

It is also coincides with the Congress of the United Sates creating legislation to increase security in the cargo areas of the airport and allowing third party dog training services to participate in this serious security business. S1802 deals specifically with this canine services enhancements and other air cargo security matters.

This is a re-activation of a program that was terminated a few years ago.

In 2014, the UK’s Department for Transport (DfT) announced that certification for sniffer dogs used to detect explosives would be withdrawn.

At the time, a DfT spokesperson said: “UK aviation security measures are among the most robust in the world and are kept under constant review. We do not comment on specific security matters.”

In announcing the policy change four years on, the DfT said: “Free Running Explosive Detection Dogs (FREDDs) working in close partnership with their human handlers are being used to check freight for a range of explosive materials. The dogs are being used alongside existing screening methods, offering a rapid and effective way of screening large volumes of air cargo.

“Each animal has undergone twelve months of rigorous training to achieve government certification before being deployed in the cargo sheds. As they carry out their operational duties they will go through a regular quality assurance programme.

“The world leading standards that have been set by the government will make sure that a robust program is in place which guarantees and maintains the animals’ detection capabilities.”