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Lapse in Federal Funding Impact on CBP Website Operations Notice

NOTICE: Due to the lapse in federal funding, this website will not be actively managed. This website was last updated on December 21, 2018 and will not be updated until after funding is enacted. As such, information on this website may not be up to date. Transactions submitted via this website might not be processed and we will not be able to respond to inquiries until after appropriations are enacted.

 

Aviso del impacto de la interrupción de fondos federales en las operaciones del sitio web del Oficina de Aduanas y Protección Fronteriza de los Estados Unidos (CBP, por sus siglas en inglés)

AVISO:  A causa de la interrupción de fondos federales, este sitio de web no será administrado activamente. La última actualización a este sitio web se realizó el 21 de diciembre de 2018 y no se harán más actualizaciones hasta que el gobierno reanude operaciones; por ende, puede que el sitio web no refleje la información más reciente. Es posible que no podamos procesar transacciones ni responder a
preguntas hasta que se reanuden operaciones.

Agriculture Canine

Dogs have a long history of working in partnership with humans.  Building on this partnership between humans and dogs, U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) detector dogs are a key tool for screening passengers and cargo to prevent the introduction of harmful plant pests and  foreign animal disease from entering the U.S. 

U.S. Customs and Border Protection Detector DogThe ability to discriminate and target a specific odor, such as that of an orange or even a live snail, makes dogs an invaluable tool in detecting prohibited agricultural items hidden from view.  When it comes to finding prohibited fruit, vegetables, plants, and meat products from high-risk countries, the nose knows.  A trained agriculture dog can scan a piece of luggage for smuggled or forgotten fruits in mere seconds.  Understandably, it takes an officer much longer to open and visually inspect the same bag.

In 1984, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) established its detector dog program Beagle Brigade” at the Los Angeles Inter-national Airport with one beagle trained to sniff out plants and animal products in luggage and carry-on items arriving on international flights.  Beagles and beagle mixes are the    preferred breed of dog at the airport because of their keen sense of smell, non-threatening size, high food drive, and gentle disposition with the public. 

Drug Dog Sniffing boxesIn 2000, USDA started using larger dogs outside the passenger environment by employing Labrador retrievers (labs), this launched the “Border Brigade” on the Mexican and Canadian borders, and “Cargo Brigade” in the CBP cargo inspection facilities at airports and seaports.

In 2003, when USDA transferred agricultural inspectors to CBP, approximately 75 canine teams were included.  Today, more than 116 CBP agriculture canine teams provide screening at the border crossings, preclearance locations, air passenger terminals, cruise terminals, cargo warehouses, and mail facilities that process international passengers and commodities.

All the detector dogs at the USDA National Detector Dog Training Center (NDDTC) are adopted from rescue shelters in the U.S. or come to the program from private donations.  A facility was constructed in 2009 specifically for NDDTC near Atlanta, Georgia.  The facility incorporates environmentally conscious  features in accordance with the Leadership in Energy Environmental Design certification by the U.S. Green Building Council.

Drug Dog sniffing suitcasesBefore the selected beagles or labs can start their specialized work, they have to be trained. All CBP agriculture canine officers and their canine partners complete the initial 10-13 week CBP Agriculture Specialist Canine Training at the NDDTC.  Training and evaluation continues at the team’s home port to maintain their skills.  Depending on the working environment, the dogs are trained to give either a passive/sitting response or an active response by pawing to indicate the presence of an agricultural product.  Regardless of the behavioral response, food (dog treats) and  positive praise from their  handler is the reward that increases their proficiency.Drug Dog being trained

In addition to their important detection work, agriculture canine teams make the public aware of the important role that agriculture plays in CBP’s overall mission and in the U.S. economy.  The special role of the agriculture detector dog program in protecting American agriculture and its public appeal make it ideal for public outreach activities.  Agriculture    canine teams have given thousands of demonstrations to audiences of all ages.  At schools, media interviews, fairs or other events, the agriculture detector dog teams are always ready to steal the show, greeting the public with happy faces and wagging tails.

Last modified: 
May 23, 2016