World first as dogs trained to detect DVDs

FACT has joined forces with express delivery company FedEx and HM Revenue & Customs to launch an exciting new initiative to help combat DVD piracy.

As part of a project promoted by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA) FACT instigated the training of two black Labradors, Lucky and Flo, by one of the world’s leading experts in the field whose other clients include police, fire and rescue services. The dogs were trained over an eight month period to successfully identify DVDs that may be located in boxes, envelopes or other packaging, as well as discs concealed amongst other goods which would then be sold illegally in the UK. These DVDs are often smuggled by criminal networks involved in large scale piracy.

For their first major live test, Lucky and Flo, were put to work at FedEx’s UK hub at Stansted Airport, and were immediately successful in identifying packages and parcels containing DVDs for destinations in the UK.

Raymond Leinster, Director General of FACT added, “This is the first time dogs have been used anywhere in the world to search for counterfeit DVDs and the results were amazing. With the cooperation and assistance of FedEx and Customs we were able to properly test the dogs in a live situation and prove that they can work in a busy working environment.”

Mary Callahan, Director Optical Disk Operations, Worldwide Anti-Piracy MPAA, added: “The MPAA is delighted with the immediate success of this initiative which has opened up a new and highly effective means of detection for counterfeit discs.”

“FedEx was delighted to assist in Lucky and Flo’s first live test in a working situation. They were amazingly successful at identifying packages containing DVD’s, which were opened and checked by HM Customs’ representatives. While all were legitimate shipments on the day, our message to anyone thinking about shipping counterfeit DVDs through the FedEx network is simple: you’re going to get caught. FedEx employs state-of-the art security, and now Lucky and Flo are on the case,” said UK Managing Director, Trevor Hoyle.

HM Revenue & Customs Detection Manager Ian Chadwick said “As an organisation, we are delighted to work with FACT and FedEx to help stop the trade in counterfeit DVD’s. These dogs are one of a number of powerful tools in detecting organised crime. I don’t think that members of the public realise that each time they buy a counterfeit DVD they are supporting criminal activity”

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