CDC BANS IMPORTING DOGS FROM OVER 100 COUNTRIES
The ban, which is a temporary one, went into effect on July 14.
Why would the CDC ban dogs? It may not be what you think. The 100 countries are all listed as “high risk for rabies,” meaning dogs that are being imported from them have not been properly vaccinated against the deadly disease..
What is Rabies?
Rabies is a preventable viral disease most often transmitted through the bite of a rabid animal, according to the CDC. The rabies virus infects the central nervous system of mammals, ultimately causing disease in the brain and death. Death usually occurs 2 to 10 days after first symptoms. Survival is almost unknown once symptoms have presented, even with intensive care
Thankfully, dog rabies has been eliminated from the United States since 2007. It is only spread through wild mammals such as bats, raccoons, skunks, and foxes. The CDC’s temporary ban will protect the health and safety of imported dogs by preventing importations of dogs inadequately vaccinated against rabies and will protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of dog rabies.
Is this Really a Concern?
Barring the fact that rabies is extremely deadly, you may be wondering if false certifications justify an outright ban. This move is more precautionary, as adoption rates have skyrocketed during the pandemic and in the past two years.
The demand from imported dogs is so high that the number of false rabies certification exploded as well — up 52% over the past two years according to NPR.
What Countries Are Banned from Importing Dogs?
Here is the official list of banned countries.
- Algeria, Angola
- Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi
- Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
- Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti
- Egypt (Temporary importation suspension of dogs from Egypt until further notice)
- Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia
- Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
- Lesotho, Liberia, Libya
- Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique
- Namibia, Niger, Nigeria
- Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
- Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan
- Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Togo, Tunisia
- Western Sahara
- Zambia, Zimbabwe
Americas & Caribbean
- Belize, Bolivia, Brazil
- Colombia, Cuba
- Dominican Republic
- Ecuador, El Salvador
- Guatemala, Guyana
- Haiti, Honduras
Asia and the Middle East, Eastern Europe
- Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan
- Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Brunei
- Cambodia, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan)
- India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq
- Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
- Laos, Lebanon
- Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma)
- Nepal, North Korea
- Pakistan, Philippines
- Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria
- Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Turkmenistan
- Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan
How Can I Import a Dog?
It may sound weird to import a dog, but it happens all the time. Pure bred lines are often brought in from other countries; a common one is German Shepherds, as many view those of German descent to be superior to one’s bred in America.
It is still possible to import dogs. Dogs from high-risk countries may be imported only with CDC’s advance written approval (unless the country is on the aforementioned list), known as a CDC Dog Import Permit. Such approvals may be granted on a limited case-by-case basis at CDC’s discretion.
These permits are NOT issued when the dog arrives. If you want to import a dog, you must file for a CDC Dog Import Permit at least 6 weeks before you make plans to bring the dog into the US! If you wish to import a dog from a high-risk country, you must request advance written approval from CDC by emailing CDCanimalimports@cdc.gov.
Who Can Apply for a Permit
The following categories of importers are eligible to request a permit to import a dog into the United States:
- A US government employee with permanent change of station or temporary duty orders
- A US citizen or lawful US resident relocating to the United States, such as for employment or education
- An owner of a service dog that is trained to assist a person with a disability
- In accordance with US Department of Transportation regulations at 14 CFR part 382, emotional support animals, comfort animals, companionship animals, and service animals in training are not considered service animals.
- Must submit a completed US Department of Transportation Service Animal Air Transportation Form
- Importers wishing to import dogs for science, education, or exhibition, as these terms are defined in 42 CFR 71.50, or for bona fide law enforcement
CDC Dog Import Permits will NOT be issued for dogs that will be resold/re-adopted, and dogs that will accompany owners on short-term travel to and from high-risk countries.
It is unknown when this ban will be lifted, so keep following the CDC for updates.