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Customs will get dog squad to check smuggling of animals at Delhi airport

The officials of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), who scan the hand baggage of passengers, have also been trained to spot how the image of a tortoise will look like in the X-ray machine.

In order to check smuggling of animals and their body parts, the customs at Delhi airport will get a dog squad for the first time. The dogs will get training in the academy of Border Security Force (BSF) and will be deployed at both the arrival and departure terminals.

The move, airport officials said, will help them track and nab those passengers who bring their pets without declaring them. The dogs will also help them in sniffing out the presence of species of monkeys, rabbits and tortoises that are also smuggled.

“Red sandalwood and skin of various animals is also smuggled out of the country. We don’t have much presence at the departure terminal, so the dog squad will help us in detecting smugglers. We already have a dog squad that helps us in catching gold smugglers,” said a customs official.

The customs will procure three German shepherds and get them trained.

Officials have also started training of personnel in detecting animals before they are trafficked out of the country. Customs said that since Delhi is the biggest and busiest airport of the country, sensitization of all the enforcement agencies needs to be conducted for prevention of wildlife trafficking.

The officials of Central Industrial Security Force (CISF), who scan the hand baggage of passengers, have also been trained to spot how the image of a tortoise will look like in the X-ray machine.

“Delhi airport is mostly used as transit point since chances of smuggling tortoise from here is less. But now, we will be extra cautious,” the official added.

Last year, a dog — wrapped between clothes inside the bag of a female passenger — was detected by airport security. The woman later confessed to having given sedatives to the dog for the entire journey.

There were three similar cases of ‘dog smuggling’ last year.

According to the sources, the passengers of other countries, who want to travel with their pets often put the animals in their bags to avoid documentation work.

To bring a pet through legal channels, the owner has to obtain a NOC from the animal quarantine station before entering the country. The pet can come either as checked baggage or air cargo.

“Every day over 25,000 passengers arrive at Terminal 3 of Delhi airport from international destinations and it is impossible to check each of them. Our intelligence staff keeps a check on smuggling of gold and narcotic substances and stopping passengers. But stopping people who are trying to smuggle in their pets illegally is almost impossible. The dog squad will help us in detecting such cases,” a customs official added.

-Original article by- Hindustan Times Link- http://bit.ly/2yLz8dT