Sniffer dogs to combat rhino poaching

2012-03-03 14:35

Johannesburg - South African sniffer dogs were being used to combat rhino poaching and the smuggling of elephant tusks, according to a report on Saturday.

The sniffer dogs recently uncovered a major drug smuggling operation in the West African country of Benin, the SABC reported.

The dogs, trained by Mechem, a subsidiary of state arsenal Denel, were deployed at ports and airfields to counter the growing trade of drugs and illicit substances.

Veterinary Ethnologist at the Mechem Training Facility in Lyttleton, Pretoria, Dr Hannes Slabbert told the SABC the dogs were much more effective than any X-ray system and very efficient.

"We are very proud of our track record, our training and expertise in the field - and we are also very involved in this rhino poaching."

"We supply dogs to private game reserves and we are working towards supplying quite a few dogs to other entities as well to stop this, so we are not only looking at drugs and explosives but also the rhino poaching and the elephant tusk problem," Slabbert said.

In an effort to combat rhino poaching Denel group CEO Talib Sadik has placed the company’s technology, human and canine resources at the disposal of anti-poaching initiatives, according to Denel's website.

"We have some of the most sophisticated technology in the world and at least three of our business entities can help stop rhino poaching - Mechem for their sniffer dogs, Carl Zeiss Optronics, for its powerful ‘eye-in-the-sky’ technology and Denel Dynamics for their unmanned aerial vehicles,” Sadik said.

  • Hunter - 2012-03-03 14:54

    Nice of Denel. It is obviously not free of charge, because it is not being used all over the country to combat the poaching... The real solution still lies in sorting out the demand side - no market, low price and eventually no incentive for poachers.

  • Comrade - 2012-03-03 15:00

    Makes sense!!..they probably stink to high heaven!!

  • Piet - 2012-03-03 15:09

    The demand is as I understand from China and Tiawan. We should stop buying the products they export to SA. We should have a serious relook at the commitment of management in the KNP. Maybe we need some redeployment.

      Irene - 2012-03-03 15:14

      Not just KNP, the whole country.

      John - 2012-03-03 16:44

      Piet, We cannot stop buying from China. I'm supporting the anti-rhino poaching, but country like China is a world economic super power. Nowadays almost everything has "Made in China" label.

  • Wes - 2012-03-03 15:22

    Imagine- You cant search my bags Ive got diplomatic immunity... sniff sniff bite as a dog doesn't believe in diplomatic immunity

  • Reinette - 2012-03-03 15:46

    The government and Dr Mabunda are either totally incompetent or get their fare share out of this slaughterings.

  • Phillie - 2012-03-03 15:49

    First they employ hundreds of so called game rangers promising that they will eliminate the poaching. Thatcostly experiment is failing miserably, Now they brag about the dogs doing it. This too will also fail. My opinion is Poison the horns and when idiots, who think the horn powder will give them hard-on's start dying the trade will also die. Not a single innocent person will be affected.

  • Shirley - 2012-03-03 15:50

    Pity the dogs cant bite the poachers on the b@lls!What amazes me is the success China is having on saving the panda from extinction but they cant leave our damned animals alone!

  • Piet - 2012-03-03 15:53

    Great, but it will not prevent the killing of our Rhino's. Lets come up with something Pro Active please.

      Dawood - 2012-03-03 16:06

      proactive PIET..yes..bring the dogs to SA and amazingly put them in white suburbs..cos thats were the fingers are recently pointing..

  • Lynda - 2012-03-03 16:08

    Well lets all hope the Chinese haven't found a way to bribe dogs yet!

      Wes - 2012-03-05 06:41

      Well if the dogs don't listen they eat them with sweet and sour sauce.

  • Lacrimose - 2012-03-03 21:22

    As usual, things have to be beyond crisis proportions for any govt action. Whilst I applaud all the suddenly new and emerging efforts to to put an end to this sickening slaughter, I have to ask "why did it take so long?". ANC govt's entire reign has been defined by lurching from one crisis to another. It is mind-boggling that people still consider them fit to rule. They let everyone down, even our precious, irreplaceable wild-life.

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