Pembrokeshire Senedd Members Paul Davies and Samuel Kurtz have welcomed the UK’s first biosecurity dog, Jinx, to the Senedd.
Davies and Kurtz met with Jinx’s handler Greg Morgan, along with staff from RSPB Cymru, to learn more about Jinx’s work as part of the Biosecurity for Life programme.
Jinx is trained to detect the presence of rats and search cargo destined for important seabird islands, such as Pembrokeshire’s Ramsey Island.
More than half of the world’s Manx shearwater nest underground in burrows on islands along the Welsh coastline and their population has suffered greatly from invasive rat species.
As a result, long-term biosecurity measures are needed to ensure that seabirds can be protected for the future, and Jinx is the latest addition to the Biosecurity for Life programme team.
Preseli Pembrokeshire Senedd Member Paul Davies said:
“It was fantastic to see Greg and Jinx and welcome them to the Senedd. Jinx does such a great job of protecting our seabird populations from threats, but it’s important we all play our part and remain vigilant when we visit places like Ramsey Island.
“Thank you also to the RSPB whose security work has significantly improved our islands and helped safeguard seabirds through the Biosecurity for Life programme.”
Carmarthen West and South Pembrokeshire Senedd Member Samuel Kurtz added:
“Jinx and his handler Greg are doing a superb job at protecting our coastline and the important seabirds that call these areas their home.
“I look forward to seeing the Biosecurity for Life programme continue to grow, and hope that both Jinx and Greg are the first of many dogs and handlers that are paired together to protect our delicate and diverse ecosystem.”