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Mercury sniffer dogs head for Brussels

Date: 18-Oct-99
Country: EU

Sweden's Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) said the two dogs, an
Alsatian and a Labrador, have traced more than three tonnes of the
highly toxic metal in the last five years. It said this had saved 20
million Swedish crowns ($2.47 million) in clean-up costs.

"For the dogs, the trace of mercury is a joyful game, and a competition
with the dog handler in who finds the mercury first," a statement from
Sweden's Dog Training Centre said.

The EPA turned to the Dog Training Centre in 1994 after it was asked by
the government to clean up mercury pollution in the country.

Since then, Froy and Ville have sniffed their way through hospitals,
dentists' surgeries, factories and schools, finding mercury in sinks,
crevices in the floor, bottles, laboratory cupboards and the sewage
system, the statement said.

Froy and Ville will give a demonstration of their skills in the European
Parliament on Tuesday and will be on show in the European Commission's
headquarters for the rest of the week.

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