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Associated Press, Published May 08 2012

Minnesota to test dogs against emerald ash borer

ARDEN HILLS, Minn. — Minnesota is enlisting dogs in the battle to prevent the spread of the emerald ash borer.

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture hopes trained sniffer dogs can become a new line of defense against the invasive pests, which threaten ash trees across the state and across the country.

The department is partnering with Working Dogs for Conservation, which has experience in detecting invasive species and has found encouraging results in training dogs to find ash wood material and emerald ash borers.

Weather permitting, officials plan to demonstrate the dogs' capabilities at the Ramsey County compost site in Arden Hills on Tuesday.

The beetles were first detected in Minnesota in St. Paul in 2009. Four counties are under emerald ash borer quarantines: Houston, Winona, Hennepin and Ramsey.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.