Xtra strong biosecurity defences at Adelaide airport

26 August 2022
  • Biosecurity detector dog Xtra has been deployed back to Adelaide as part of foot and mouth disease response 
  • All airports with incoming flights from Indonesia now have biosecurity detector dogs 
  • All airports with flights from Indonesia now have Biosecurity Detector Dogs working to sniff out risk material following Xtra’s redeployment to Adelaide International Airport this week.

Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry Senator Murray Watt said Xtra’s move back to Adelaide was part of the Australian Government’s increased biosecurity measures to keep Foot and Mouth disease (FMD) out of Australia. 

“Biosecurity Detector Dogs have become an invaluable part of Australia’s extensive biosecurity system to ensure compliance in travellers and keep out exotic pests and diseases,” Minister Watt said. 

“Xtra alone has made in excess of 2500 detections in his 5-year career as a detector dog across the Sydney, Adelaide and Perth international airports and mail centres. 

“Detector dogs have also been redeployed to Darwin and Cairns to increase our measures following Foot and Mouth Disease and Lumpy Skin Disease (LSD) arriving on Australia’s doorstep, in Indonesia.” 

Minister Watt said Xtra returned back to Adelaide after departing for Western Australia in June 2020. 

“He worked primarily in the Perth international mail centre and at the shipping ports, as air traveller numbers had dropped due to the pandemic,” he said. 

“He is now returning to Adelaide International Airport as passenger numbers and biosecurity interventions increase again. 

“We have a three-pronged approach to keeping Australia FMD-free, assisting Indonesia control their outbreak, enhancing our preparedness and strengthening our borders. 

“Dogs like Xtra will continue to play a vital role in managing the significant biosecurity threats Australia faces.” 

Minister for Primary Industries and Regional Development Clare Scriven said Xtra will be utilised for both FMD detection and fruit fly defence. 

“This is a win for South Australia, further strengthening our strong biosecurity measures,” Minister Scriven said. 

“I'm delighted that Minister Watt has responded so quickly to my request for a bio security detector dog in Adelaide. 

“Working constructively across governments, industry and the community will help in our constant fight against bio security risks. 

“Our strong biosecurity measures in South Australia also include increased surveillance and working with our industry on simulations, training and preparedness activities to ensure we keep SA safe from FMD and other exotic pests and diseases.” 

Photos of Xtra can be downloaded here.