Addressing an audience of dogs, handlers and dignitaries at the Medical Detection Dogs charity in Milton Keynes on Wednesday, the Duchess expressed her pride at Britain’s lead in the development of a C-19 canine task force.
She also publicly requested hospitals and laboratories to donate more infected samples to the cause, explaining how this was the only sure way to enable handlers to train the dogs thoroughly.
Detector dogs a possibility from the outset
Since the lockdown, the British government has considered the possibility of retraining various medical detection dogs to detect Covid. The Milton Keynes test centre leads the way in canine detection, and hopes to have C-19 “sniffer” dogs available to authorities before the end of the year.
Sniff and be sniffed
If possible, each dog will be trained to sniff out a Covid carrier, even if that someone shows no signs of symptoms. It is not clear yet whether the dog must come into contact with a sample of the person’s saliva or whether it will be able to detect the disease by the mere act of sniffing.
The duchess - patron of the charity - continues the renowned Royal affection for dogs: she has two Jack Russell terriers called Bluebell and Beth.
See also: Government delivers funding to research of C19 detector dogs