Biosecurity New Zealand is looking for help from the public to name one of its new detector puppies.
Specially bred to sniff out fruit and other unwanted biosecurity items carried by international passengers at airports and ports, the male beagle was born to work dogs Gale and Gina on 5 March, along with 6 siblings.
"We're looking for a name beginning with 'M', as the puppy is part of the M-litter – the 36th beagle litter we've produced under Biosecurity New Zealand's detector dog breeding programme," says Brett Hickman, detection technology manager.
Mr Hickman says the programme produces sniffer dogs ideally suited for biosecurity.
"Our beagles can detect a wide range of odours and they have a strong drive to find risk items. This makes them a valuable biosecurity tool, although by no means the only thing we use to protect New Zealand's borders from invasive pests and diseases."
The public has until 19 April to send in their name suggestions through our Facebook page.
Photos of the puppy are available on request.
Along with name suggestions, Biosecurity New Zealand is looking for volunteer foster families in Auckland and Hamilton to help the detector puppies get used to dealing with the public before they begin their formal training.