After 63 (dog) years of service, the last biosecurity beagle on mainland Australia is retiring, having done his country proud at airports around the nation.

Andy has worked hard across Brisbane, Gold Coast and Adelaide international airports, and has personally been responsible for detecting a total of 2.3 tonnes of biosecurity risk material.

This includes 718 kilograms of undeclared fresh fruit and vegetables, helping to protect Australian growers and our horticulture industry from exotic plant pests and diseases.

In particular, Andy was a pivotal member of the South Australian government’s Mediterranean fruit fly screening and awareness campaign, keeping his nose to the ground (and travellers’ bags) to do his bit for the local industry.

After hanging up his vest for the last time, Andy is now moving back to Sydney to live with his original handler.

Andy was the second-last working beagle in Australia’s biosecurity system. The detector dog program has been moving since 2009 to replace outgoing retiree beagles with Labradors, who are larger, more agile and can more flexibly adapt to different working environments.

The long and proud legacy of Australian biosecurity beagles will be carried on by Dawson, Australia’s last beagle on active duty, who works on Norfolk Island.

For more information on Andy and his work, see this article in the Adelaide Advertiser. You can read more about Australia’s detector dog system on the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.

Image provided by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.

This post appeared in the AUSVEG Weekly Update published 15 May 2018. Subscribe to the Update using our online form to receive the latest industry news in your inbox every week!