Schoolchildren are being asked to name a litter of detector dogs.

Working biosecurity beagle Aria gave birth to the three boys and three girls in March. They are collectively called G-litter.

They will undergo intensive training to work at ports and airports where they will sniff out food, plants and other items that could pose biosecurity risk to the country.

But before they begin training they need names beginning with the letter G, says Brett Hickman, Ministry for Primary Industries detection technology manager.

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"As a way to promote biosecurity among schoolchildren, we're asking classrooms to send in naming ideas for one of the female puppies.

"Last year, we received an overwhelming response to our competition to name two beagle puppies from our F-litter. We're hoping for a similar response this year.

He said MPI has been breeding beagles for 21 years as biosecurity detector dogs and produced more than 30 litters.

"Beagles from the MPI breeding programme have an excellent track record for protecting New Zealand from unwanted pests and diseases.

"The G-litter puppies have some very big paws to fill."

Schools are being asked to post their suggestions on the MPI detector dogs Facebook page. Entries close next Tuesday.

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