150. Deputy James Browne asked the Minister for Justice and Equality the position regarding the use of sniffer dogs when searching for missing persons; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [14374/19] Amharc ar fhreagra
The use of sniffer dogs, in relation to the search for missing persons, is a matter for An Garda Síochána. However, to be of assistance, I have sought a report into the matter.
I will contact the Deputy directly on receipt of said report.
The following deferred reply was received under Standing Order 42A
I refer to Parliamentary Question No. 150 of 27 March 2019 in which the Deputy asked the position regarding the use of sniffer dogs when searching for missing persons. The Deputy may recall I had sought information from An Garda Síochána, which is now to hand.
I am informed that the Garda Dog Unit is based in Kilmainham Garda Station, with regional dog units also in the Southern Region. Currently there are 15 general purpose (GP) dogs in Dublin, two in Limerick and one in Cork. The Garda Dog Unit is frequently requested to assist in searches for missing persons.
Using scent obtained from personal property or clothing, the GP trained dogs can locate persons or indicate areas where the scent has been detected. Using these dogs, a GP dog handler can also track and follow a route taken by a person.
Further information on the Garda Dog Unit is available online: https://www.garda.ie/en/about-us/specialist-units/operational-support-services/the-garda-dog-unit/
I hope this information has been of some assistance.