German-owned forwarder DB Schenker says its UK arm is using free running explosive detection dogs on a daily basis to detect prohibited items in airfreight. The dogs are a variety of breeds and chosen for their sense of smell and include Spaniels, Labradors, German Shepherd or Golden Retrievers.
They receive between six and twelve months intensive instruction before they become part of the team and are particularly chosen for their ability to detect explosives. A new cohort is currently also in training to be able to sniff out lithium batteries.
They are operating at Heathrow and Manchester and, soon, Glasgow.
Not only are the dogs used to search regular airfreight shipments, but also outsize shipments which are too large to pass through an X-Ray machine. The dogs can discover anything untoward much faster than a manual search by humans
DB Schenker UK aviation security manager, Ian Dallow said: “The speed and accuracy of the screening they undertake has become an essential part of our operation and they give us a reliable method of detecting certain items which would otherwise prove difficult using other approaches.”