Kenya has introduced a pioneering anti-poaching technique involving specially-trained sniffer dogs to crack down on illegal shipments of ivory and rhino horns out of the country.

Samples are taken using filters and then presented to the dogs who can sniff out illegal items within seconds, a spokesman for Kenya Wildlife Service told CNN.

“Before now, we had to open shipments for the dogs to access the containers, but this new technique, we only take air samples from the vent in the shipment and present it to the canine unit, who within few seconds can spot those with illegal items,” Gathitu told CNN.

WWF’s East Africa wildlife crime coordinator Drew McVey says the new system could be a “game changer” in the fight against illegal ivory trade between African countries and the overseas market.

“As organized criminal syndicates use ever more sophisticated methods to hide and transport illegal wildlife products, it is vital that we continue to evolve our efforts to disrupt the barbaric trade,” McVey told UK newspaper, The Independent.