The Chief Conservator of Forests Julius Kamau on Thursday commissioned the Canine (K9) Unit.
The Kenya Forest Service (KFS) arm came into operation on the same day.
Speaking during the event, he said the Service has officially integrated the use of security trained dogs within its enforcement and compliance division (ENCOM).
This is one of KFS strategies to complement human capital and increase capacity on matters of forest protection, conservation, and management to deal with the ever-changing dynamics of forest-related crimes.
The event at KFS headquarters saw Kamau receive the first batch of six highly trained K9 officers (dogs).
He also awarded two forest rangers (handlers) on completion of a K9 Security Training Course.
Kamau noted that the K9 Unit will enhance forest patrols and detection of illegal forest produce such as highly endangered sandalwood.
He added that the Service is also considering expanding the K9 Unit within KFS jurisdictions such as border and along checkpoints on critical transit areas across the country.
The Chief Conservator added that this is meant to strengthen the monitoring and enforcement of regulations on trade of timber.
“The K9 Unit will secure other critical KFS installations to enhance security” he said.
The CCF was joined by KFS Commandant Alex Lemarkoko, Francis Kariuki (Head of Nairobi Conservancy), and Col. (Rtd) Charles Otieno (Nairobi Regional Commandant).
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