U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) employees at Toronto Preclearance operations welcomed CBP Agriculture K-9 “Wade” in February.
Wade is the first CBP agriculture canine to be posted at CBP Preclearance operations at the Toronto Pearson International Airport.
“CBP’s agriculture inspection and protection mission is a critical part of CBP’s mission,” said Lee DeLoatch, CBP Port Director for Toronto Preclearance Operations. “CBP’s agriculture specialists and our Beagle Brigade work side by side to detect and intercept prohibited food items, invasive weed seeds and insects, and plant and animal diseases that pose a significant threat to U.S. agricultural industries and our nation’s economy.”
Wade is starting his fourth year as an agriculture detector dog. Like many canines in the program, Wade received a second lease on life in 2015 when the USDA Beagle Brigade adopted him from an animal control facility in Alabama at roughly one year of age. He began his sniffing career at Hartfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and then did a brief stint at Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
“Wade is adjusting well after his transfer to Toronto,” DeLoatch said. “Since arriving in Toronto, he has already demonstrated his enthusiasm and skills which have resulted in over one hundred alerts.”
According to DeLoatch, these alerts have led to 62 seizures of 84 plant materials and three animal products, resulting in one civil penalty. The civil penalty was issued to a passenger who originated from China that had undeclared prohibited avian and swine products in their checked baggage. This seizure is especially important due to the current outbreak of African Swine Fever in China that has decimated many pigs and wild boar, which could potentially wreak havoc on the pork industry in the United States.