Illegal tobacco and cigarettes sniffed out by tracker dogs

Sniffer dogs Lily and Dixie have put their noses to good use, helping Central Bedfordshire Council’s Trading Standards Team seize illegal tobacco across several shops in the area.

Following a number of undercover test purchases where a sale was made, Council Enforcement Officers then returned to each shop with a tobacco detection dog from Wagtail, who provide detection dogs for the public sector. Springer Spaniel Lily and Labrador Dixie quickly showed the team exactly where the contraband was hidden and in one shop, the dog sniffed the tobacco in a locked safe.

Six premises across Central Bedfordshire were visited on Thursday 24 June 2021, five in Dunstable and one in Biggleswade and cigarettes and rolling tobacco was seized in two premises.

Deputy Executive Member for Community Services, Councillor Ian Bond said: “We take the sale of illicit goods very seriously and being able to use sniffer dogs significantly increases our chances of finding and seizing illegally imported tobacco. Keeping our communities safe by removing these goods from the streets is a priority.”

If anyone is concerned that may have been sold counterfeit tobacco, cigarettes or alcohol should notify the team by calling 0300 300 8642 or emailing

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