Digital Version of November/December 2014 Print Edition
TSA to cease breeding program for detection dogs
TSA will eliminate its detection dog breeding program at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, TX, by the middle of next fiscal year, but will continue to train the animals for its use.
A November 21 post on the TSA’s Web blog said a recent efficiency review showed the program, which was appropriated $1.8 million dollars for Fiscal 2012, but while the review showed the program was important, further investment in it was required. “For example, it would take $4 million dollars alone just to build the facilities necessary. The program currently employs two full time Federal employees and has contracts with a local company for the up-keep of the kennels and for medical and health needs,” said the post.
The agency, it said, decided to phase out the breeding program in an effort to best manage taxpayer dollars. “TSA will continue to train the dogs for explosive detection responsibilities. Only the breeding program will be discontinued,” it added.
The agency said it currently uses existing contracts like the one operated by the Department of Defense to purchase up to 80 percent of the canines used for the safety and security of the transportation domains it is tasked with protecting. That means that only 20 percent of the canines come from the breeding program in Lackland. Another 20 percent of the canines that are bred are purchased by other agencies and used in a variety of law enforcement or security functions, it said.