A DOG handler and trainer from Pembrokeshire is currently teaching his counterparts in Indonesia how to sniff out tiger skin and pangolin scales in an attempt to stamp out the trade in illegal wildlife.

Stuart Phillips, of Pembrokeshire-based BWY Canine Specialist Search Dogs, is in Lampung Province on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

He is working with international charity Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on a new wildlife detection dog unit.

The dogs have been trained by a Dutch company to find animals and animal parts that are being illegally smuggled/trafficked, through sea and airports.

These include pangolin scales, tiger skin, tiger bone, ivory, rare birds and a number of other animals.

WCS says the pangolin is thought to be the world's most traded mammal for its scales and its meat. It is believed the illegal trade in pangolins has reduced the global population by up to 80% over the last twenty years.

Rare Sumatran tigers are also killed for their skin and bones and there are less than 100 Sumatran rhinos left in the world.

Stuart has been employed by WCS Indonesia to audit the new wildlife detection dog project and ensure that the dogs are at a high enough standard to support police, customs and quarantine law enforcement operations.

He has also written a guidance manual for the project and the use of detection dogs; as well as assessment criteria for the dogs and handlers and has advised on how the dog teams can be used to support law enforcement operations at the various locations.

"I am extremely proud to have been asked to support this very special project and help tackle the illegal wildlife trade," he said.

"During my two week visit I will also meet anti-poaching teams and advise them on how specialist dogs can be used to further assist with poachers in the national park areas.

"In Sumatra there are still rhinos, Sumatran tigers and elephants that need to be protected from the illegal wildlife trade.

"It's really important that we educate people in the UK about the illegal wildlife trade, which like other things is connected to other organised crime.

"I've had massive support and assistance from the all the Indonesian people I have encountered, and I hope that my relationship with WCS Indonesia and the law enforcement agencies will continue."