Fudge (girl) and Fritz (boy) are the winning names for two new biosecurity detector puppies that have been especially bred to stop pests and diseases from entering New Zealand.
The Ministry for Primary Industries announced the beagle names today after running a public competition to name two puppies from its “F-litter”.
“Both names were popular choices among the entrants, and they meet our requirements for names that are short and easy to remember,” says MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman.
Other interesting entries were Freedom, Ford and Fiat (after the cars), Finda (very appropriate), Flopsy, Ferbert and FIFA (as in the soccer organisation).
The competition attracted more than 2500 entries, says Mr Hickman.
“We were amazed at the amount of interest. We hope it has created greater awareness of New Zealand’s strict biosecurity rules and the work our staff do at the border.”
Working Auckland biosecurity detector dog Aria gave birth to F-litter (six beagle pups) in May under MPI’s biosecurity detector dog breeding programme.
The remaining four puppies have been named by MPI dog handlers and other staff.
The puppies will all shortly leave MPI to go to foster homes to get them used to being around people. They will return to MPI and start detector dog training in May next year.
“MPI-bred beagles are ideally suited to working at airports and ports to sniff out food, plants other items that could pose biosecurity risk to New Zealand,” says Mr Hickman.