The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) would be directed to establish a working group to determine ways to develop a decentralized domestic canine breeding network to produce and train bomb-sniffing dogs under a bill introduced by Alabama 3rd District U.S. Rep. Mike Rogers that passed the House on Tuesday.
H.R. 4577, the Domestic Explosives Detection Canine Capacity Building Act of 2017, would direct the TSA to build relationships with domestic breeders, private sector industry, leading veterinarians and academics with first-hand knowledge to establish breeding standards, as well as future canine procurement, based on the most up-to-date canine science.
“I have long advocated for the use of canines in transportation security. These canines are more efficient than any machine and more cost-effective,” said Rogers, a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee. “With the rise of ISIS-inspired attacks around the world on soft targets, these canines are stretched to their limits. It is past time for DHS to work with American breeders as well as the private sector to increase the volume of these animals that are available.”
Rogers concluded, “The passage of my legislation in the House today marks another step forward in protecting Americans.”
Currently, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) secures most of its canines from vendors in Europe with just a few hundred coming from the U.S. This is due, in part, to private sector American canine breeders and vendors not having the resources to navigate DHS’ arcane procurement rules. According to Rogers, it is common-sense to create these high standards to produce world-class detection canines in the U.S.