NCBA, NPPC among Ag Groups Supporting Beagle Brigade

Dan Beef, Cattle, National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA), National Pork Producers Council (NPPC), Pork

Beagle Brigade
“Beagle Brigade” member Hardy’s official photo.
Photo credit: Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection)

The National Cattlemen’s Beef Association (NCBA) and the National Pork Producers Council (NPPC) are among a coalition of agricultural organizations calling for passage of the Beagle Brigade Act of 2022.

The bill would authorize the National Detector Dog Training Center, which trains canines who are nicknamed the “Beagle Brigade.”

NCBA Executive Director of Government Affairs, Allison Rivera, said “The Beagle Brigade is crucial for preventing foreign animal diseases, invasive species, and pests from entering the country. To continue the success of the Beagle Brigade’s program, we’re urging Congress to provide specific authorization for the National Detector Dog Training Center so canine teams can continue to provide robust inspections at U.S. ports of entry,”

In a statement, NPPC President Terry Wolters said, “Healthy animals ensure consumers have safe food and allow American producers, their communities, and the U.S. economy to thrive. That is why NPPC joined over 50 organizations spanning the entire agriculture sector in support of the Beagle Brigade Act of 2022. Early detection at our U.S. borders has never been more critical. Training canine teams against threats like animal disease and identifying potentially contaminated products at our nation’s ports of entry is critical to the safety of U.S. agriculture. We urge Congress to act fast.”

Over 116 agricultural canine teams provide screening at border crossings, airports, cruise terminals, cargo warehouses and mail facilities, according to U.S Customs and Border Protection. Members of the Beagle Brigade have played a vital role in preventing the introduction of virulent diseases like Foot and Mouth Disease, African Swine Fever, Newcastle Disease, and numerous plant diseases that could devastate farmers and ranchers across the U.S.