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house Bill H.R. 4577

Should Homeland Security Have a Strategy For Obtaining More Bomb-Sniffing Dogs?

Argument in favor

There’s an urgent need for more explosives detection dogs, and Homeland Security should develop a decentralized breeding network to ensure there are enough canines that do the job. A working group of stakeholders will develop an effective strategy.

David's Opinion
The program must guarantee that oversight is in place for the safety of the dogs.
Like (50)
Yes of course we need these dogs who can do what humans can’t. Bomb sniffing dogs are a great asset to law enforcement.
Like (15)
SneakyPete's Opinion
It’s better to be prepared than not..... Go For It Folks.
Like (8)

Argument opposed

This bill drags out the process of developing a breeding network to produce more explosives detection dogs, Congress and Homeland Security shouldn’t bother with the working group’s recommendations.

Kathleen's Opinion
The need for a breeding program is ridiculous. There are very trainable dogs in shelters all across America.
Like (136)
Vincent's Opinion
Why not rescue dogs from shelters and train them?
Like (78)
AlHowarth's Opinion
Don't breed. There are thousands of dogs put to sleep every day that could do this job.
Like (64)

What is House Bill H.R. 4577?

This bill would create a working group within the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) focused on developing behavioral, medical, and technical standards for explosives detection working dog breeding and training. The working group would plan to develop a decentralized domestic canine breeding network to produce working dogs that meet those standards.

The working group would be composed of representatives of the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), the Science and Technology Directorate of DHS, national domestic canine associations with expertise in breeding, universities with relevant expertise, and domestic canine breeders.

Preliminary standards and recommendations would be provided to TSA within 180 days of the working group’s establishment. Within 180 days after they’re submitted, TSA would provide relevant congressional committees with a strategy for expanding the canine breeding network and within 270 days TSA would issue baseline behavioral standards.


Explosives detection dogs, their breeders, and vendors; DHS; and the working group.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4577

$500.00 Thousand
The CBO estimates that enacting this bill would cost less than $500,000 in 2018.

More Information

In-Depth: The U.S. is facing a shortage of explosives detection dogs, which led Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) to introduce this bill:

“We are not going to have a choice as a country. We are going to have to find a way to provide canines for the evolving terrorist threat.”

This legislation passed the House Homeland Security Committee by unanimous consent and has the support of nine cosponsors in the House, including seven Republicans and two Democrats.


Summary by Eric Revell

(Photo Credit: skilpad / iStock)


Domestic Explosives Detection Canine Capacity Building Act of 2017

Official Title

To establish a working group to determine ways to develop a domestic canine breeding network to produce high quality explosives detection canines, and for other purposes.

bill Progress

  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
  • The house Passed January 9th, 2018
    Passed by Voice Vote
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedDecember 6th, 2017

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