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Last Updated: Thursday, 30 August 2007, 10:25 GMT 11:25 UK
Dogs bite at Big Apple DVD piracy
Sniffer dogs Lucy and Flo
Lucky and Flo can do tasks in 10 minutes which take humans a day
Two sniffer dogs trained in Northern Ireland are the toast of New York law enforcement after uncovering a cache of counterfeit DVDs.

Lucky and Flo picked up the scent of hidden DVDs including the Bourne Ultimatum and Underdog during raids on three retail outlets in the city.

Three people were arrested and charged with trademark counterfeiting.

"Man's best friend has become a DVD counterfeiter's worst nightmare," said Queens District Attorney Richard Brown.

The labradors were trained by a handler who usually teaches dogs to find bombs.

Whereas before Hollywood bosses would have invested big money on canine talent like Lassie or Rin Tin Tin, nowadays piracy is a huge threat to the movie business.

Lucky and Flo getting their paws imprinted in plaster
Malaysia imprinted their paws in plaster in a Hollywood-style tribute
Lucky and Flo are owned by the Motion Picture Association, which spent US $17,000 on training them.

Although they can sniff the chemicals used to make CDs and DVDs, they cannot distinguish between genuine and fake discs.

The reason why they are so effective is that they can lead handlers to boxes of discs labelled as other items.

Security officials may take a whole day to examine such containers, but it takes Lucky and Flo just 10 minutes to sniff out discs.

The dogs are fresh from a stint in Malaysia, which proved so successful that local media reported movie pirates had offered a bounty to anyone who eliminated them.

Since March, they have uncovered 1.9m DVDs, three DVD replicating machines and 97 compact disc burners, and 26 people were arrested on suspicion of copyright violations.

The DVD sniffer dogs in action

Dogs sniff out pirate DVD factory
06 Aug 07 |  Entertainment
Malaysia seeks Irish sniffer dogs
30 May 07 |  Business
Pirates put bounty on dogs' heads
22 Mar 07 |  Asia-Pacific
Dogs sniffing out pirate copies
16 Mar 07 |  Northern Ireland
Cell phone sniffer dog on trial
18 Sep 06 |  Norfolk

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