Government has launched the wildlife detection dog department at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe and has already deployed three trained dogs to sniff and catch those wishing to smuggle out wildlife products and illicit drugs.
Wildlife and Parks director Bright Kumchedwa said the dogs would help crack down on those who illegally smuggle out ivory products such as ivory as well as those who smuggle out illicit drugs.
“Dogs are not corrupted, dogs cannot be corrupted, this is why we say this is a milestone in our effort to crack down on the smugglers,” he said.
The launch of the department was done today at the airport in the presence of the Inspector General of Police whose officers will be in control of the department.
He said although the start of the wildlife dog department was done at Kamuzu International Airport in Lilongwe, similar departments would be at Chileka International Airport and all borders posts across the country.
Kumchedwa described the launch of the department as a milestone in the curbing of illegal smuggling of both ivory and illicit drugs.
Inspector general of police Rodney Jose conceded the police officers had challenges in curbing the smuggling of wildlife products and illicit drugs and said the coming in of the dogs would help in curbing the malpractice.
“This marks a milestone in the Malawi Police Service in the curbing of illegal smuggling of ivory,” he said.
He said Malawi is used as a conduit for the smuggling of illicit drugs and needed to have stringent control measures in the smuggling of the illicit drugs.
Malawi had 4, 000 elephants now reduced to 2000 due to high poaching.