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Monday, January 29, 2007

Homeland Security Legislation Mandates Uniform K-9 Standards

Canine detection teams are a critical element in increased demand for explosive detection since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, leading to the introduction of new bipartisan legislation in Congress.

In response to this increased need, Rep. Mike Rogers of Alabama, ranking Republican and Rep. Chris Carney (D-Pa.), chairman, of the House Homeland Security Committee Subcommittee on Management, Investigations, and Oversight joined together with full committee Chairman Bennie G. Thompson (D-Miss.) and ranking Republican Peter King of New York to introduce H.R. 659, the "Canine Detection Improvement Act of2007."

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

"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," says 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," Rogers adds.

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