A new report from police in Australia says that nearly two-thirds of hits by drug-sniffing dogs at festivals and other events resulted in false positives, calling into question the effectiveness of the dope-seeking doggies.

Police in New South Wales released data on the K9s at the urging of Green Party politician David Shoebridge, according to a report by IQ’s Molly Long. Dogs sniffing for drugs at a Midnight Mafia event and last month’s Above and Beyond concert, both in Sydney, are believed to have made hundreds of false positive hits on concert goers.


“According to the numbers for strip searches last year,” the report reads, “sniffer dogs made 1,124 indications to NSW police. Of these, just 406 successfully identified a person carrying drugs – a 64% failure rate. General searches proved just as unsuccessful. 2017 saw 3,954 out of 10,224 general searches indicated by dogs turn up positive results – a 61% failure rate.”

Even when no drugs were found on festival goers at both events, they were turned aware when identified by the police animals, prompting outrage and accusations of abuse by NSW Police, who have not revealed key details of the program including its cost.

“Any other government program that gets it wrong almost two-thirds of the time would be immediately halted,” Shoebridge said. “These aggressive searches are all about PR, about the police being seen to do something on the failing war on drugs.”