There seems to be a lot of misinformation regarding the closing of our canine breeding program located at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas. So, I feel a need to provide clarification.
A recent efficiency review showed the program was appropriated $1.8 million dollars for FY’12 (not $400K as reported elsewhere). It was determined that the program is important, but further investments would need to be made to take the breeding program to the next level. For example, it would take $4 million dollars alone just to build the facilities necessary. The program currently employs two full time Federal employees and has contracts with a local company for the up-keep of the kennels and for medical and health needs.
TSA decided to phase out the breeding program in an effort to best manage taxpayer dollars. IMPORTANT, however, is that TSA will continue to train the dogs for explosive detection responsibilities. Only the breeding program will be discontinued.
What you may not know is that TSA currently uses existing contracts like the one operated by the Department of Defense to purchase up to 80 percent of the canines used for the safety and security of the transportation domains we protect. That means that only 20 percent of the canines come from the breeding program in Lackland. Another 20 percent of the canines that are bred are purchased by other agencies and used in a variety of law enforcement or security functions.
While the breeding program is scheduled to cease all operations in by mid-year 2013, TSA recognizes that canines are a vital part of our layers of security. So, TSA will be expanding its canine training operations at Lackland Air Force Base.
A special thanks to all of the volunteers for their hard work and dedication with the breeding program. While these changes are prudent decisions, they will never result in compromising security.
If you have a travel related issue or question that needs an immediate answer, you can contact us by clicking here.