Bill calls for permanent Beagle Brigade
Bipartisan legislation has been introduced in the U.S. House to permanently authorize the USDA’s National Detector Dog Training Center.
The center trains dogs, mostly beagles, to protect against foreign pests and diseases at border crossings by sniffing out prohibited agricultural items.
Sponsor of the Beagle Brigade Act Congressman Dan Kildee of Michigan says the legislation will help defend American agriculture from harmful diseases and protect the local food supply.
The bill is supported by Representatives Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. and Drew Ferguson of Georgia, and Adrian Smith of Nebraska.
The National Pork Producers Council says the “Beagle Brigade” serves as the first line of defense for early detection at the nation’s ports of entry and is critical in keeping foreign animal diseases, like African swine fever, out of the U.S.
More than 50 ag and other groups, including the Michigan Pork Producers Association, Michigan Milk Producers Association, Michigan Farm Bureau, and Michigan Agri-Business Association, also support the measure.
Senators Joni Ernst of Iowa and Raphael Warnock of Georgia have introduced the companion bill in the U.S. Senate.