Search ends for biosecurity beagle names

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It’s taken a world-wide search to find names for 2 new biosecurity puppies bred by the Ministry for Primary Industries.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has been running a competition for a New Zealand school to name one of the beagle puppies.

It has also been running a competition through social media in China with the help of New Zealand embassy staff to come up with a name for the second beagle. 

The winning New Zealand-sourced name is Greer, submitted by the Te Kura Correspondence School, which has students throughout New Zealand. Greer means “alert and watchful”, which are very desirable characteristics for a biosecurity dog.

The top four entries were Greer, Gizzy, Galileo and Gecko.

“It is the first time that MPI has asked schools to help name one of our beagles. We were pleased to get 155 entries. It appears the competition has captured the interest of young people and got them thinking about biosecurity," says MPI Detection Technology Manager Brett Hickman.

Gōngfu (功夫) is the winning entry from China. 

“Gōngfu means excellence achieved by a long period of practice. It is a fitting name for one of our detector dogs, which undergo nearly 18 months of training to learn how to protect our borders,” says Mr Hickman.

“As with the school competition it’s the first time MPI has invited people from another country to help name a New Zealand detector dog. 

“The ultimate aim here has been to encourage Chinese travellers to learn about New Zealand’s biosecurity rules and why they are in place.”

The winning name in both competitions had to begin with “G”, as the puppies were from G-litter – a litter of six beagle puppies born in March under MPI’s detector dog breeding programme.

Greer and Gōngfu will shortly leave MPI to go to foster homes to get them used to being around people.

“MPI-bred beagles are ideally suited to working at airports and ports to sniff out food, plants and other items that could pose a biosecurity risk to New Zealand,” says Mr Hickman.

Media outlets can request a high-resolution copy of the pictures – email

Beagle puppy held by carer
Meet Gōngfu (功夫) whose name is the winning entry from China.



Beagle puppy close up held by carer
Meet Greer whose name is the winning entry from New Zealand.


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