Dog to Be Tested for Cane Toad Control in Australia

Drugs, bombs and now toads! What else can dogs be trained to sniff out? This in from the Australian Associated Press and Yahoo News. A...

Joy  |  Jun 11th 2006


Drugs, bombs and now toads! What else can dogs be trained to sniff out? This in from the Australian Associated Press and Yahoo News.

A specially trained dog will be Western Australia’s latest defense in the fight to stop the invasion of the cane toad.

Nifty, a two-year old female Belgian malinois is being trained to sniff out the toad’s odour and hunt down any of the slimy creatures that may have made it across the WA border.

Environment Minister Mark McGowan said Nifty would undergo training in Queensland before being flown to the Kimberley town of Kununurra, 2,214 kilometers north of Perth to take part in a three-month trial in September.

“Nifty should be able to detect cane toads on the move as well as the presence of cane toad hides, days after the toads have moved on,” Mr McGowan said.

“The dog will be trained to search buildings, cars and trucks and open areas in scent saturated areas to ensure the search for cane toads overrides distractions such as other scents and animals.

“If the trial is successful, the use of sniffer dogs will be an invaluable tool in the fight against this invasive pest.”

Mr McGowan said the WA Government had so far allocated $2.5 million towards stopping cane toads from entering the state.

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