Canines join chase for contraband

What has eight legs, two tails and “nose” how to find counterfeit DVDs?

Answer — Lucky and Flo, the Federation Against Copyright Theft’s latest weapons in the battle against film forgery. The two black labradors are believed to be the first dogs used to detect illicit DVDS.

FACT has joined forces with delivery company FedEx and Her Majesty’s Revenue & Customs Service in the U.K. to recruit the two canine assistants as part of a project promoted by the Motion Picture Assn.

Over an eight-month period, Lucky and Flo were trained to successfully sniff out DVDs in packages not said to contain them.

Lucky and Flo were trained in much the same way that dogs are instructed to sniff out drugs, explosives or people. In the case of DVDs, the dogs’ excellent sense of smell homes in on the chemicals and the polycarbonate resin used to make CDs and DVDs.

For their first major live test, Lucky and Flo were put to work at FedEx’s U.K. hub at Stansted Airport, and were successful in identifying packages and parcels containing DVDs for destinations in the U.K.

HM Revenue & Customs detection manager Ian Chadwick added, “We are delighted to work with FACT and FedEx to help stop the trade in counterfeit DVDs. These dogs are one of a number of powerful tools in detecting organized crime.”

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