Mini stands on guard against ASF

Detector dog Mini from the Quarantine Prevention Unit will be transferred from Taoyuan Airport to Kinmen. (NOWnews)

TAIPEI (The China Post) – The Chinese New Year is right around the corner and many Taiwanese businesspeople and Chinese tourists are expected to arrive in Taiwan via Kinmen and the Mini Three Links. In light of the recent outbreak of African swine fever (ASF), Mini, a dog from the Quarantine Prevention Unit with 6 years of experience under its belt, has been deployed to “guard the frontier.” 

The “senior detector dog” was transferred to Kinmen to join the frontline’s quarantine service after 6 years of service at Taoyuan Airport to bolster epidemic prevention at the Shuitou Pier, the Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ) said on Jan.15. BAPHIQ indicated that Mini inspected 2,642 batches of animal and plant quarantine objects in 2018. This number equals to 3 metric tons of merchandise for a successful detection rate of over 80 percent, which is very stable.   

Since Mini left Taoyuan Airport, new quarantine detector dogs have joined the new force. Chou Hui-juan, deputy director of BAPHIQ, said that Mini’s current master dog trainer has already started training a new dog, Gavin, which is expected to be on duty before the end of this month. The number of quarantine detector dogs remains stable at 25 animals at Taoyuan Airport. 

Asked about the possibility of adding more detector dogs, the deputy chairman of Council of Agriculture remarked during a previous interview that the training takes time and it could not happen overnight. For, the current number of quarantine detector dogs is 47 and the possibility of increasing the number to 76 by 2022 will depend on the results of ongoing training.