If you’re thinking of trying to smuggle a few sausages or a round of illicit cheese into MAN, think again. The sniffer dogs there have a nose for such transgressions. When it comes to finding Class A drugs, however, the dogs have turned their noses in the air.
The report by the Independent Chief Inspector of Borders and Immigration said the sniffer dogs had failed to find any such drugs in a 7 month period and questioned the return on investment, with £1.25m spent on new kennels and operating the 6 dog unit.
The report said: "Heroin and cocaine were assessed as 'very high' priority within both air passengers and freight”. Yet, according to the data provided by Border Force, the dogs had made no Class A drug detections in the period November 2014 to June 2015.
The pups may have other priorities.
"When deployed, the POAO dog made multiple accurate detections, but most were of small amounts of cheese or sausages, wrongly brought back by returning British holidaymakers and posing minimal risk to U.K. public health."
The report into Border Force operations also found that 4 out of 5 suspicious pax were not interviewed by immigration officers. Of the 50 sample cases studied at MAN, only 10 travellers who raised suspicions were questioned by border guards.
However, it’s good news that the canine patrols have the sausage smuggling trade on its heels. It’s widely believed that sausage can be a gateway food to more dangerous consumables like blood pudding and haggis.