Taiwan Coast Guard dog squad beefs up border security

Taiwan Coast Guard Administration creates dog unit to fight crime and prevent disease at country's borders

Taiwan Coast Guard dog unit (Coast Guard photo)

Taiwan Coast Guard dog unit (Coast Guard photo)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – The Coast Guard Administration (CGA) of Taiwan launched a dog unit for its Northern Branch on Monday (Sept. 16) in a bid to crack down on border crime and bolster disease prevention.

The canine unit, which currently has 15 dogs in service, includes Labrador retrievers, German shepherds, Tervurens, and English springer spaniels. The dog guards will receive four months of training before carrying out missions starting next year.

The training involves sessions to help the dogs sniff out illegal substances and explosives, as well as agricultural, aquatic, and husbandry products. By utilizing the dogs' sense of smell, which is up to 100,000 times more accurate than that of humans, the CGA believes it will have an enhanced detection and inspection network at the island’s ports and harbors.

According to CGA Director-General Chen Guo-en (陳國恩), the agency used to have a 200-strong military dog unit countering human trafficking and smuggling before the task force was disbanded in 2015. The new squad will focus on fighting new threats, including the spread of African swine fever and drug trafficking.

Taiwan Coast Guard launches dog unit (Coast Guard photo)