Detection dog Rustie backs up fight against African hog cholera

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A “detection dog” sniffing meat products from the baggage of people coming to Okinawa through the Naha Airport is a front-line soldier in the fight against the invading African hog cholera that threatens to infect domestic pigs in the prefecture farms.

The dog is named “Rustie” and he’s a male beagle working at the customs inspection at the airport.

Rustie sniffs the bags of the passengers arriving from abroad and he detects any meat product or fresh fruit prohibited to bring in because they may contain viruses or pests.

Since February 2019, traces of the virus causing African hog cholera has been found ten times, mainly in sausages brought by visitors from China. Nine were discovered by the quarantine staff, but one was sniffed out by Rustie after the human inspectors failed to detect the infected product.

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