Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Saks), a senior member of the House Homeland Security Committee, celebrated this week the passage of a bill he sponsored, directing the TSA to establish a working group to determine ways for improving both its canine breeding network and training standards.
— Federal security officers are heavily reliant upon explosive-detecting dogs to tip them off to harmful substances coming through ports and airports.
— Rogers said improving the TSA’s access to these valuable animals is as important now as ever before.
— Most of the dogs currently come from European vendors, partly because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) have “arcane procurement rules” that American breeders and vendors have to navigate, according to a press release from Rogers’ office. Rogers’ legislation aims to increase the numbers of security canines and to train and develop more in the U.S.
— “With the rise of ISIS-inspired attacks around the world on soft targets, these canines are stretched to their limits,” Rogers said in a statement.
— “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.”
— “The working group shall submit to the TSA preliminary behavioral standards, medical standards, and technical standards for such network and training,” a summary of the legislation says, “including recommendations on how the TSA can engage stakeholders to further the development of such network and training.