Quarantine WA detector dog, Barnaby, may be small in stature but he made a big impact during his eight years of service at the Perth Domestic Airport terminals.
At almost 10-years-of-age, Barnaby recently retired from his quarantine duties with the WA Department of Agriculture and Food.
Detector Dog Unit acting officer in charge, Rachel Wallace, said Barnaby came to the department in September 2009.
“Barnaby joined Quarantine WA’s Detector Dog Unit as the smallest beagle in the team, but being small didn’t deter him and he made it through his initial assessment with flying colours,” Ms Wallace said.
Throughout his career, the little beagle was prolific in protecting WA’s borders at the Perth Domestic Airport terminals, recording many remarkable detections ranging from the smallest of seeds to huge hauls of fruit, vegetables and plants.
“Although Barnaby is small, he would fearlessly track through crowds and onto moving carousels on the hunt for quarantine risk material,” Ms Wallace said.
“He always seemed to wag his tail a little harder when he found strawberries so I think they must have been his favourite find.”
Prior to retiring from his quarantine duties, Barnaby made his last significant detection.
“It was only fitting that Barnaby ended his career on a high,” Ms Wallace said.
“He detected two separate seizures of undeclared mangoes, which, when examined by department staff, were found to have mango seed weevil.
“Mango seed weevil is an exotic pest to Western Australia that can cause significant production losses and cosmetically damage fruit.”
Barnaby has joined his former work colleague, retired detector dog Charlie Brown, and taken up residence on the couch of his handler.
A new detector dog, just as keen as little Barnaby, is due to join the Quarantine WA team later in 2017.