FWC using dogs to find illegal wildlife coming into Florida ports

MIAMI - The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service found a new way to sniff out illegal wildlife shipments.

The first class of wildlife detector dogs and handlers graduated from training in searching for protected species. One dog will be stationed at the Port of Miami.

The agency's deputy chief of law enforcement Ed Grace says the rapid growth in global trade in protected wildlife is pushing some species toward extinction. He says the dogs to help stop wildlife smuggling.

The four dogs and their handlers completed a 13-week course at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's National Detector Dog Training Center. The dogs will scan air, rail and ocean cargo.

Wildlife inspector Amir Lawal in Miami says the program offers a chance to combine his two loves -- wildlife and dogs.

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