Dog finds live fruit fly larvae
SACRAMENTO - Dingo, one of 12 package-sniffing dogs employed by the California Department of Agriculture’s (CDFA) Agricultural Parcel Inspection Program, recently discovered a mislabeled parcel that contained live fruit fly larvae among more than 40 pounds of illegally shipped mangoes. The parcel was found during a routine inspection of packages loaded on a delivery truck in the Los Angeles area. The illegal package, shipped by a person in Florida, was to be delivered to an address in San Pedro.
“Dingo’s actions may have saved California taxpayers millions of dollars in pest eradication costs,” said CDFA Secretary William (Bill) J. Lyons, Jr. “Exotic fruit fly infestations are a major threat to our state’s agricultural production.”
In the wake of the recent Foot- and- Mouth Disease scare, CDFA dog teams were also called into service to help federal inspectors identify illegal shipments of meat into California. Over the past three months, the dogs have been responsible for locating 240 unmarked international parcels containing animal products.
Since the Agricultural Parcel Inspection Program began in 1997, CDFA dogs have identified 6,765 unmarked parcels containing plant materials.
Dingo’s handler, CDFA Agricultural Biologist Abel Castillo, reports just this year Dingo has sniffed out 35 of those parcels, his latest find being the package carrying fruit fly larvae. While the unmarked shipments are quite common, the discovery of larvae is not.
California Department of Food and Agriculture Office of Public Affairs
1220 N St., Ste. 214, Sacramento, CA 95814