February 26th, 2024

Detector dogs could help sniff out more fentanyl, firearms at border, review suggests

By The Canadian Press on January 1, 2024.

Detector dogs who work at Canada's border agency could play a bigger role in sniffing out deadly fentanyl and illicit firearms, suggests an internal evaluation that found room to boost enforcement measures. A border services officer watches his dog sniff through shipping boxes at a Canada Border Services Agency warehouse, Tuesday, April 21, 2009 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

OTTAWA – An internal evaluation by Canada’s border agency suggests its detector dogs could play a bigger role in sniffing out deadly fentanyl and illicit firearms.

The agency has dozens of canines trained to detect smuggled currency, drugs, guns, and food, plant and animal products.

A recently published evaluation found the detector dog service helped reduce threats by effectively intercepting such regulated and prohibited goods at the border.

But it says the program had a limited role in helping detect smuggled firearms.

In addition, some dog handlers and their managers saw a need to train more canines to intercept fentanyl and precursor chemicals used to make such drugs.

The evaluation report recommends further review of the detector dog program and allocation of resources to determine how the animals could be best used for enforcement.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 1, 2024.

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