Logo

Action Center

The American Kennel Club Appreciates CDC Leadership On Health Issues Related to Import of Unhealthy Dogs, Urges Nuanced
June 14, 2021 by AKC Government Relations

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced today that it is temporarily banning, with few exceptions, imports of dogs from countries determined to be high risk for canine rabies.  The agency cited a 52% increase in irregularities with rabies vaccination certificates for canine imports in 2020 over 2018 and 2019, and stated the measure is being taken “to ensure the health and safety of dogs imported into the United States and to protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of dog rabies.” 

Canine rabies was eliminated from U.S. in 2007. However, skyrocketing imports of dogs from overseas, many from high risk countries -- in combination with high rates of dogs being imported with invalid health certificates have created a serious new threat to public health. 

The  American Kennel Club supports selective and responsible import of  adequately vaccinated dogs from overseas,  but also recognizes the grave health threat that the import of unhealthy dogs presents to US populations. “We realize  this temporary ban may present some short-term inconveniences to responsible breeders and exhibitors; however we appreciate and strongly support the CDC’s leadership in taking a firm strong approach  to protect the long term health of U.S. pet and public health,” said  Sheila Goffe, Vice President, Government Relations for the AKC.  “We hope the temporary ban can soon be replaced by a more nuanced approach that requires improved health reporting for all dogs imported into the US but allows for importing healthy dogs from a wide variety of countries.“   

Despite the rising U.S. demand for pets, estimated at over 8 million dogs per year,  state and local laws that discourage domestic dog breeding enacted over the last generation have resulted in an enormous increase growth in U.S. canine imports.  According  to the CDC, in 2019, over one million dogs were imported into the U.S. Many of these dogs are inadequately vaccinated or have invalid health certificates. Because many dogs are imported via the retail rescue industry or internet sales, they  do not receive the same level of  oversight as dogs bred in the U.S., creating the conditions  for a public health crisis. 

The AKC has been concerned for many years about the devastating but preventable threat from diseases and parasites from inadequately vaccinated or health checked imports. AKC, along with the American Veterinary Medical Association, National Animal Interest Alliance, and other animal organizations strongly supports the Healthy Dog Importation Act, which would require that all imported canine  be free of infection, adequately vaccinated and/or protected against contagious diseases, present a health certificate from a U.S. approved veterinary authority, and have permanent identification such as a microchip.           

Exceptions:

Under the new ban, the CDC will allow for a limited number of written exceptions, including personally owned dogs that belong to US citizens living overseas  and owners of service dogs who can provide adequate proof of rabies vaccination or titer. 

Importers wishing to transport dogs that are not their own personal pets are only eligible to apply for a permit to import dogs for science, education, exhibition, or law enforcement.

Exceptions will not be provided for other purposes, such as rescue, resale, or transfer of ownership; or short-term  travel to and from high-risk countries with personal pet dogs.  

For more information visit AKC GR’s regulatory alert. AKC GR will continue to provide updated information, including information on the public comment process, as it becomes available. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

256 0
Please do not close this window. You will need to come back to this window to enter your code.
We just sent an email to ... containing a verification code.

If you do not see the email within the next five minutes, please ensure you entered the correct email address and check your spam/junk mail folder.
Share with Friends
Share
Share
Or copy the link below to share this blog post on your personal website
http://www.votervoice.net/Shares/BAAAAAo8ANHpAAFEwOZ7FAA
Comments
Please wait...
Leave a Comment
comment(s) awaiting approval
Remaining: 2000
Posting as (email will not be displayed) Edit
Your Information