The reliability of sniffer dogs: 'Would you get on a plane that a sniffer dog had just gone 'woof woof' at?'

This post is based on a couple of comments in a forum (the title being one). The other one went something like this: "Do I trust the dogs? Gerry McCann trusts the dogs, which is why he wants to discredit them."

Here's a couple of doggy tails which shows how 'unreliable' they are:

Two black Labrador dogs have become the first in the world to be trained to sniff out counterfeit DVDs.

The dogs - named Luck and Flo - have already passed their first big test. They were put to work at courier company FedEx's UK hub at Stansted in the UK where they successfully discovered DVDs in parcels and packages.

Although none of the discs they discovered was a pirated copy, the organisations behind the trial expressed satisfaction with the results.

"This is the first time dogs have been used anywhere in the world to search for counterfeit DVDs and the results were amazing," said Mr Ian Leinster, director general of the UK-based Federation Against Copyright Theft (FACT).

FACT teamed up with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) to train the dogs, a process that took eight months.

Sniffer dogs are commonly used to search for drugs, explosives, other contraband and, in the case of Australia, certain prohibited food imports.

It is not immediately clear if the dogs will continue to work only with posted/couriered material or whether they will be deployed at airports to pore over passengers' suitcases and packages.

However, before that happens the dogs are expected to go back to school to learn how to differentiate pirated discs from the kosher ones.

DVD piracy is a growing problem in the UK and last year FACT seized over two million counterfeit DVDs.


DRUG USER RULE #1: Don't Bring Cannabis to a Drug Seminar, Especially if Police Dogs are Invited

DEVON (UK) — Four of Ilfracombe Community College's not-so-brightest students were discovered to be in possession of illegal narcotics at a drug seminar late last week.

At a speech conducted by British police about the dangers of drugs, an unscheduled demonstration took place when 2-year-old "Bonnie" the sniffer dog became excited as young pupils were filing out of the assembly. The Cornwall Police immediately instigated a locker search, upon which four boys were arrested for having quantities of cannabis.

Sniffer dog "Atom" and Officer Chris Anatra hope their demo won't require any "audience participation".

Bonnie, a short-haired German Pointer, was only there to be patted and stroked by students as her handler talked about the dangers of using drugs. But—whether she's on the job or not—Bonnie is trained to sit down next to anyone who smells of drugs. "It's certainly shown the value of the dog," Sergeant Alan Mobbs told Reuters.

Three of the four boys (ages 15-16) received reprimands. The fourth was prosecuted and later received a conditional discharge.

Said Sgt. Mobbs: "It's one assembly that no one will ever forget."

But this dog, according to the McCanns, can only sniff rotting meat and dirty nappies

So unreliable are Eddie and Keela, apparently, that the McCanns contacted the lawyers of a man charged with murder who successfully challenged sniffer dog evidence - it turned out the dogs were right all along.

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