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Michigan agricultural organizations: Beagle Brigade Act will help safeguard agriculture

“Beagle Brigade” member Hardy’s official photo Image credit: Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Customs and Border Protection
Date Posted: July 25, 2022

Michigan agricultural organizations today hailed introduction of H.R. 8432, the Beagle Brigade Act of 2022, and urged its speedy approval by Congress.

“The importation of infected animals or contaminated products is the most likely path for a foreign animal disease to enter our country,” said Mary Kelpinski, CEO of the Michigan Pork Producers Association. “U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the first line of defense to protect American pork production and American agriculture from devastating diseases. If African Swine Fever entered this country it would cost the pork industry billions of dollars in lost revenue, so we fully support this measure to get more trained dogs to the border to help detect unauthorized imports.”

The bill, introduced by Congressman Dan Kildee and a bipartisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats in the U.S. House, would provide permanent authorization for the National Detector Dog Training Center. The center trains dogs, particularly beagles, to detect unauthorized food and agricultural products in international passenger baggage. 

A bipartisan companion bill was introduced in the Senate.

“Michigan’s dairy farmers work hard to care for herds and protect them from harm, and we fully support this effort to prevent foreign animal diseases from entering the U.S.,” said Doug Chapin, Michigan Milk Producers Association Board Chairman. “By helping ensure we can get trained dogs to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, this legislation takes important steps to protect against the importation of foreign animal diseases, and we appreciate Congressman Kildee’s leadership to advance the bill.”

“To protect agriculture, we need more beagles at the border, and the bipartisan Beagle Brigade Act will help get the job done,” said Chuck Lippstreu, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association. “We applaud Congressman Dan Kildee for helping lead introduction of this bipartisan measure to secure our borders against devastating foreign animal diseases. We encourage lawmakers to advance the Beagle Brigade Act as soon as possible to safeguard U.S. agriculture.” 

“Michigan Farm Bureau applauds Congressman Dan Kildee and his colleagues for introducing the bipartisan Beagle Brigade Act,” said Michigan Farm Bureau President Carl Bednarski. “By permanently authorizing the National Detector Dog Training Center, Michigan farms can be better protected from harmful foreign animal and plant diseases and unwanted ag products. This common sense legislation will protect our ag economy, trade relationships and help provide consumers with a safe and affordable food supply.”

Media Contacts
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John Kran

National Legislative Counsel
517-679-5336 [email protected]
Jon Adamy

Jon Adamy

Media Relations Specialist
(517) 323-6782 [email protected]