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14th Apr 2016

Manchester Airport sniffer dogs can’t find cocaine, but love sausages and cheese

Bless 'em.

Carl Anka

Spare a thought for the humble airport sniffer dog.

You spend all that time, shunning hanging out with your regular dog mates in the park, changing your diet, and getting fit for the police academy, only to be shoved on airport duty, sniffing crotches of jet-lagged tourists from budget airlines.

You do all of the hardwork of bomb squad dogs, with only a smidgen of the prestige. In fact, half of your dog mates call you a “narc” back at the pound and talk nonsense behind your back.

Not to mention all that time you may have to spend in doggie rehab.

It’s no wonder that some airport sniffer dogs can hardly be fussed with sniffing out cash, tobacco, and illegal drugs, and just want to chill out a bit.

Rescued Labrador Has Qualified As Police Explosives Search Dog

Photo by Jeff J Mitchell/Getty Images

At least, that’s the story we’re spinning after a critical report has found sniffer dogs at Manchester Airport haven’t found cocaine in nearly seven months, but are really good at finding sausages and cheese.

Six dogs were deployed by the Home Office at the airport at a cost of £1.25 million, but the review from the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration, said the dogs were “not delivering effectively”.

The dogs did make a number of finds but “most were of small amounts of cheese or sausages, wrongly brought back by returning British holiday makers and posing minimal risk to UK public health”.

To their credit, between November 2014 and June 2015, the six working dogs helped to find and confiscate 60kg of tobacco, 46,000 cigarettes, £28,000 cash, and 181kg of illegal meat. They also located three small instances of smuggled class B drugs, as well as Viagra, Bromazepam, and human growth hormone tablets.

A Home Office spokesperson acknowledged that “improvements need to be made” as Class A drug detections, such as cocaine and heroin, were “very high priority”.

Poor pups.