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Homeland Security Legislation Mandates Uniform K-9 Standards

Since September 11th, there has been an increased demand for explosive detection systems. Canine detection teams are a critical element in this effort.

In response to this increased need, Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL), Ranking Member and Rep. Chris Carney (D-PA), Chairman, of the Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight joined together with full Committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS) and Ranking Member Peter T. King (R-NY) to introduce H.R. 659, the “Canine Detection Improvement Act of 2007”.

This legislation addresses the need for improved and coordinated training, encourages the use of domestic dogs and confronts the need for more dogs by establishing a “Domestic Canine Breeding Grant Program” to increase canine numbers through both public and private means. Most importantly, the bill creates an accreditation board to ensure proper certification standards and to prevent fraud and abuse.

Chairman Thompson issued the following statement regarding the bill:

“Canine Detection Teams are critical to keeping America safe. This legislation is an important first step to ensuring that the supply of trained dogs will meet the nation’s demand,” said Chairman Thompson.

“This bipartisan, common sense legislation should help increase the use of domestically-bred dogs and support the work of canine breeding programs. Currently, the vast majority of these dogs are purchased in Europe, but by increasing domestic breeding we lower the costs of acquiring these dogs and ensure there are a sufficient number available for U.S. detection team training," Rep. Mike Rogers added.

“Some of the nation’s most dedicated citizens stand at the ready each and every day, working to detect and prevent the next terrorist attack on our soil. Often, they fulfill this critical homeland security work with significant help from what we have come to call ‘man’s best friend.’ The bipartisan ‘Canine Detection Team Improvement Act of 2007,’ will make the United States more secure by addressing the shortage of trained canine detection teams,” Rep. Chris Carney said.

“Canine teams can play an important role in a number of Homeland Security programs, including those for airport security and other mass transit systems,” Ranking Member King said. “Properly trained dogs have more flexibility than technology in their ability to deter and detect threats to our homeland. Our legislation will ensure that this important homeland security tool receives the support and coordination necessary to continue the program's success.”

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Please contact Dena Graziano or Todd Levett at (202) 226-2616.

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson (D-MS)

Rep. Bennie G. Thompson

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