Dogs Trained to Detect Meat Products in Mail
SACRAMENTO-Specially-trained parcel inspection dogs from the California Department Food and Agriculture (CDFA) have joined the national effort to keep Foot-and-Mouth Disease out of the United States.
In cooperation with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the dogs and their handlers have been assigned to international postal and parcel facilities throughout California.
Eleven parcel inspection dogs participated in a week-long training program to teach them to detect meat products sent through the mail, which is one possible method of transmission of Foot-and-Mouth Disease.
“This is another great example of the value of dog inspection teams”, said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “California and the United States are battling plant pests and foreign animal disease threats more than ever before. The dogs are crucial assets in that fight”.
Foot-and-Mouth Disease is the most devastating disease known to livestock. There is no cure. A recent outbreak in the United Kingdom required the destruction of more than 2.3 million animals, resulting in billions of dollars in losses to the European economy.
The CDFA dogs and their handlers will be on loan to the USDA for an indefinite period of time.
There hasn’t been a case of Foot-and-Mouth Disease in the United States in 72 years. The virus poses no threat to human health.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814