The US Airforwarders Association (AfA) has recently announced that private companies’ sniffer dogs are to be used to carry out pre-airport screening to the US body, the House of Representatives. Currently, the US government’s Transportation Security Administration (TSA) only allows the use of its own private dogs for screenings.
Chris Connell, AfA board member and president of Los Angeles based freight forwarder Commodity Forwarders, has commented: “I am here to state it is our belief that privatised canines can be a potentially valuable part of this multi-layer approach – another important tool in the toolbox, if you will – that also includes a range of other technology solutions and government-trained canines for our members of utilise to meet screening requirements.”
Results of a recent survey showed that three quarters of respondents said they would “strongly consider” using private company sniffer dogs. Brandon Fried, AfA Executive Director, has said that the organisation feels privatised companies should be certified to train dogs to TSA standard and specifications. Fried has said: “For some of our members, dogs are a good option because they can screen full pallets, which none of the certified technology options is able to do, and some forwarders who specialise in perishables are interested in using dogs because they can help expedite cargo through screening.”