Bomb-Sniffing Dogs Work Better than Scanners?
In Congress there is a debate going on about whether dogs or scanning devices are better for bomb detection in airports. The scanning devices are expensive, and intrusive to travelers. One estimate says each scanner costs $150,000. Dogs are said by some to be able to detect explosives better than scanners, and cost about $8,500. In the Iraq War dogs were being used to detect explosive devices laid by insurgents to kill coalition forces. NPR reported about their successful use last year, “Sniffer dogs are universally recognized as the most effective means of detecting explosives.” (Source: NPR)
In Russia, bomb-sniffing dogs are used in their conflict with terrorists. “Dogs can detect the kind of deadly material and explosives that a human being, a robot or a mine detector often struggle to find,” said a Russian military official. (Source: BBC)
In Russia, some of their bomb sniffers are Sulimov dogs, a hybrid that is bred there. They have been used for bomb-sniffing since 2002. Dogs might also be able to smell explosives implanted under the skin.
Israeli researchers say they found mice can smell explosives even better than dogs. I would love to see members of Congress debating about the use of mice in airports to detect bombs.
Image Credit: Flaurentine