Amid growing concern over the intrusive nature of full-body imaging machines at US airports, a fiery Congressional debate has raged over whether dogs can do a better job in ensuring foolproof security.
“The single best way to find a bomb-making device or bomb-making materials is the canine,” said Jason Chaffetz, a Republican lawmaker from Utah, who led the dog caucus, arguing that canines are cheaper and less invasive than body scanners which can see through one’s clothes.
Dogs are exceptional at sensing explosives, do not require software upgrades, do not depreciate with use and might even be able to detect bombs implanted under a person’s skin, he said.
And dogs are widely accepted by the public, Chaffetz said while arguing over the relative merits of dog vs machine in assuring national security at the Congressional hearing on airport security.
“Who doesn’t like dogs?” asked Inspector William Parker, head of Amtrak’s K-9 unit.
Chaffetz said canines are missing one thing that body scanners have -- lobbyists.
“That’s what the problem is,” he said. “If you look at those lobbyists who pushed through those machines, they should be ashamed of themselves, because there is a better way to do this and it’s with the canines,” he was quoted as saying by CNN.
Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Assistant Administrator John Sammon said his department has fielded both body scanners and canines at airports.