DOG JOINS THE FIGHT AGAINST CRAZY ANTS
The ongoing surveillance of the yellow crazy ant infestation in Lismore will soon receive some four footed assistance, with a dog being trained to sniff out ants.
Minister for Primary Industries, Niall Blair said a Springer Spaniel named Jet, will be the latest tool in detection.
“The accuracy of these trained dogs is second-to-none, giving the surveillance team a valuable boost in its battle against the yellow crazy ant,” Mr Blair said.
“It isn’t unusual for government agencies to use dogs in detecting pests or even endangered species, and in fact, Jet is already trained to detect koalas in the Lismore region.
“Initially our teams will present Jet with a number of different scents and then reward him for picking up the ant’s scent; this process is repeated until he is locked onto the correct scent.
“Once fully-trained, Jet will be used to confirm the boundary of the infestations and also to lock on to the nests, which will allow greater scrutiny of bait uptake and movements.”
NSW Nationals candidate for Lismore, Austin Curtin said Jet would be a great help in eradicating the pest in Lismore, with a 95% detection accuracy in past operations.
“I know the community has been very concerned since the outbreak in May this year and I commend them, as well as NSW DPI and North Coast Local Land Services (LLS) for their work to make sure the region is crazy ant free,” Mr Curtin said.
“We are also very pleased to have one of Australia’s most experienced dog trainers, Steve Austin, joining the team to help start Jet’s training.
“I look forward to seeing the work of Jet over the coming months.”
PHOTO: Niall Blair – NSW Minister for Primary Industries, Craig Faulkner – Trainer, Austin Curtin – Nationals Candidate for Lismore representing Thomas George MP, Jet Dropbox: Interview with Niall Blair, NSW Minister for Primary Industries and vision of Jet and trainers seeking out yellow crazy ants.