Dogs sniff out endangered species at Frankfurt airport

21st October 2009, Comments 0 comments

In a pilot project, two dogs helped customs officials at Frankfurt airport discover snakeskin handbags, shark fins, a rhino horn, ivory and even a bear skull.

Frankfurt -- A pilot project involving two dogs sniffing out products made from endangered species at Germany's top airport is so successful it should be implemented Europe-wide, organisers said Tuesday.

Amy and Uno, a German Shepherd and a Labrador, helped customs officials at Frankfurt airport discover snakeskin handbags, shark fins, a rhino horn, ivory and even a bear skull, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) said.

"The worldwide trade in endangered species is a multi-billion-euro (dollar) industry, and is the third most lucrative area of business for smugglers after drugs and weapons," said the WWF.

With the 27-nation European Union now largely border-free, other dogs trained for this purpose should be used at all of Europe's main ports and airports, it added.

Frankfurt airport, Europe's third busiest, was chosen because of the large number of flights arriving there from "critical regions" like Southeast Asia, Latin America and Africa, it said.

The WWF came up with the concept for the project, which began a year ago, together with fellow environmental group TRAFFIC.

AFP/Expatica

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