07 Juli 2014

[070714.EN.AIR] US Forwarders Urge Use of Private Sector Dogs To Screen Air Cargo

PRIVATE contractors should be able to train explosive-sniffing dogs and make them available for use at government certified cargo screening facilities, urged the Airforwarders Association (AfA).

AfA board member Chris Connell asked the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to finalise efforts to develop a programme for private companies to use their own canines certified to TSA standards. 

The use of private sector dogs will help to broaden the security options for freight forwarders who operate airport Certified Cargo Screening Facilities (CCSF), which are supervised by TSA, Mr Connell told US congressmen at a hearing.

Currently, TSA permits only the use of the agency's own dogs in cargo screening, and only at on-airport facilities.

"We are not saying that privatised canines are a magic bullet when it comes to screening cargo, but they are a potentially valuable part of this multilayer approach," he said in a statement.

A recent survey of AfA members found that 75 per cent of respondents, half of whom operate CCSFs, would strongly consider using dogs provided by private companies if they could.

Millions of dollars could be saved at its LAX facility annually with access to a third party solution deploying canines, said Mr Connell. 

The use of specially trained dogs is one of several methods for screening air freight that are identified in the 9/11 Commission Recommendations Act that was passed by Congress in 2007.

Source : HKSG.                                      

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