CDC Banning Importation Of Dogs From 113 Countries Due To Rabies Risk


CDC Banning Importation Of Dogs From 113 Countries Due To Rabies Risk

Starting July 14, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of ... [+] Health and Human Services (HHS) will ban the importation of dogs from countries that CDC considers to be high risk for dog rabies. (Photo: Getty)

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This isn’t about who let the dogs out, but more about where the dogs may be coming in from into the U.S.

Starting July 14, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will ban you (or anyone else for that matter) from importing dogs from countries that the CDC considers to be high risk for dog rabies. In fact, you won’t be able to import dogs that have spent any time in such high-risk countries during the previous six months either. The CDC currently lists 113 countries as high-risk that have been providing an estimated 6% of all dogs imported into the U.S. So even if you like big mutts and cannot lie, as a coffee mug once said, you should check to see where the mutt may be coming from first.

If you are saying that you have the freedom to import whatever you want from wherever you want, the response would be “actually, no you don’t.” The only way to get past these new bans will be to apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit and send an email to CDC at least 30 business days (which translates to about 6 weeks) before you intend to enter the U.S. The CDC will then review your case and reasoning, rendering a decision. And this decision will be final. Without such advanced written approval from the CDC, you can’t get an exception to the ban.

Consider this the result of yet another ruff thing that happened in 2020. The CDC noticed a significant jump last year in the number of dogs from such high-risk countries who were ultimately denied entry into the U.S. This has included finding some fake rabies vaccination certificates. Plus, the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic has left limited personnel and resources to do the proper inspection of animals and their paperwork at U.S. ports of entry.

It’s important to keep any dog infected with the rabies virus from entering the U.S. Vaccination of dogs against the canine rabies virus has helped essentially eliminate this variant of the virus from the U.S. since 2007. Just one rabid dog could re-introduce the canine rabies virus variant back into the U.S. That one dog could then pass the virus off to humans and other animals such as raccoons.

CDC Banning Importation Of Dogs From 113 Countries Due To Rabies Risk

A dog carrying rabies could spread the virus to other animals such as raccoons. (Photo by Yuri ... [+] Smityuk\TASS via Getty Images)

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Since an infected animal has the virus in his or her saliva, biting or licking the wound of another animal can then pass along the virus. Once the virus gets into the bloodstream, it can then wreak havoc, affecting the brain and nervous system. It can take weeks for symptoms to appear, typically 21 to 80 days.

Symptoms include fever, difficulty swallowing, excessive saliva production, seizures, difficulty moving, restlessness, irritability, over-sensitivity to light, sound, and other stimuli and changes in behaviors. The changes in behaviors can go in different direction. For example, your dog may become more aggressive or more affectionate or more “chill.”

Changes in behavior often occur first with physical symptoms such as “foaming at the mouth” occurring only after the disease has progressed. Seizures, lack of muscle control, and paralysis are signs that the disease has reached its final stages. Eventually, paralysis prevents breathing, leading to death.

The good news is that vaccination of your dogs can effectively prevent rabies infections. The bad news is that not every dog in every country is vaccinated. Now this isn’t because dogs are claiming that keys are sticking their foreheads after getting vaccinated and posting anti-vaccination messages on social media. This is because public health programs in many countries aren’t getting dogs vaccinated and certain people and organizations that are offering dogs aren’t making sure that their dogs are covered.

Keep in mind that this ban is only supposed to be temporary, just a paws, so to speak. And the countries on the list may change. But for now, don’t get a dog from any of the countries on the list, even if you still haven't hound what you’re looking for yet.