BANGALORE: To deal with the increasing demand for trained sniffer dogs at the Bangalore International Airport, the Customs Department is planning to hire two more sniffer dog squads ahead of the terminal expansion at the BIA.
Presently, the department has one dog squad with two to four dogs at varying points.
B Bhattacharya, Commissioner of Customs, Bangalore, said that after the expansion of the terminal, security has to be beefed up.
“Currently we have one dog squad deputed at the Bangalore International Airport (BIA). The Central Industrial Security Force (CISF) is entrusted with frisking passengers. In case they are found carrying any suspicious objects on their body, the customs checks for narcotics. We are in the process of appointing two more dog squads,” Bhattacharya.
The CISF Commandant was wary of commenting on the shortage, said that the information concerned official security, and hence, should not come into public domain.
“In India, government agencies believe in training the dogs themselves. This is because these dogs are supposed to detect arms, ammunition, explosives and narcotics and the government doesn’t believe in providing this material to private trainers to train the dogs. Outside India, many countries depend on private agencies for trained dogs,” said a leading sniffer dog trainer in the city, who has been in the industry for over 40 years.
He explained, “The advantage of buying a trained dog from an agency is that instead of hiring a trainer, taking care of feeding, health, food and other things, government agencies can buy dogs from training institutions. These institutions have internationally equipped mechanisms to train and before buying a dog, they can be tested. Apart from that, government can get trained dog instantly on demand.”
The city police, who are in close sync with the customs, when it comes to sniffer dogs, however decline help from these private agencies.
“If a trained sniffer dog is bought from a private training agency it would cost around `1.5 lakh, but if they train the dog themselves, many problems will arise. This includes selecting a healthy adult dog, training them right, keeping them fit and appointing a trainer,” opined a source.