Today’s post courtesy of Douane Nederland (Netherlands Customs) posted on the Facebook page of Larry the Downing Street Cat for Prime Minister….
From next Saturday, Customs will experience a global first. In addition to the current team of detective dogs, Customs agents will be starting a pilot program with the deployment of detective cats. The new team of “Customs Cats”, aka customs cats, will be specially trained to use their unique skills in locating prohibited goods and detection of suspicious passengers.
Why cats you might ask?
Well, one reason is cats are more agile than dogs. This allows them to crawl through suitcases more easily and get into places less accessible for dogs. In addition, they are excellent sleepers that allow the checks to be carried out unnoticed.
Research shows that cats can detect changes in hormone mirrors in humans. This allows them to identify passengers who may have something to hide. Their exceptional sense of smell also makes cats very suitable to smell forbidden or protected fish species hidden in luggage. With this unique quality, cats contribute like no other to a more effective and efficient security at airports.
The first customs cats have been trained by a specialized team of animal trainers and will soon be deployed at airports. The initial results of test projects are promising and have led to a higher percentage of seized goods and suspected passengers.
Safe travels and, BTW, Happy April 1st.
In: Odds & Sods