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Sniffer Dogs join fight against bird flu


SNIFFER DOGS are to be used at airports and ports around Britain in an attempt by the authorities to keep potentially fatal bird flu pandemic away from UK shores.

Specialist dog handlers have been employed at Gatwick, Heathrow and Manchester airports in order to stop any infected poultry products imported from abroad entering circulation within British shores.

Elliot Morley MP, minister for environment, food and rural affairs has instructed staff at airports to be extra vigilant, as concern over infected poultry finding its way into Britain increases.
Some air passengers have been reassured that the extra time required to allow for their luggage to be more thoroughly checked by the dogs, was justified.

Many passengers were happy to see Dan, the on-duty sniffer dog, detect a portion of shop-purchased smoked duck inside a rucksack during a public demonstration in the arrivals lounge.
European countries including Turkey and Romania have been identified as harbouring the most dangerous strain of bird flu, known as H5N1. The alert has been heightened since a dead swan in Scotland was found to be infected with H5N1. Thus far, no other cases of bird flu have been detected in the UK.

• Information on dogs cats and the potential risk to them from bird flu can be found on Defra’s website: www.defra.gov.uk