After eight years on the job, Australia’s last mainland beagle sniffer dog is hanging up his lead and heading into well-earned retirement.
Andy the beagle, who single-nosedly detected about 2.3 tonnes of biosecurity risk material over a career which took him across Australia, will return to Sydney to live with his original handler.
Andy, who just celebrated his tenth birthday, spent six years working as a detector dog at Sydney International Airport as well as stints at Coolangatta and the Gold Coast before making a final transfer to Adelaide. Most recently he has been working with the Primary Industries and Regions SA on their fruit fly campaign.
Andy’s career numbers after eight years earned him high praise among handlers:
- 2.3 tonnes of biosecurity risk material confiscated.
- 718kg of undeclared fruit and fresh vegetables.
- 432kg of meat including dried organs.
- 8.9kg of viable seeds and live plants.
- 128 travellers issued infringement notices as a result of Andy’s keen nose.
Andy’s Adelaide handlers were sad to see him go, saying they would have put their hands up to take him in if he wasn’t heading back to Sydney.
Andy is the last of the beagle sniffer dogs who were once synonymous with airports around Australia. Instead, the next generation will be the larger and far more eager to please labradors.
Adelaide Airport will temporarily only have one sniffer dog, Ari the labrador, but a replacement for Andy is expected by the end of the year. Only one beagle sniffer dog remains on active duty in Australia — Dawson, who works on Norfolk Island.
Source: The Advertiser, 10 May 2018, article by Mitch Mott.