US bans dog imports from more than 100 countries

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has announced a one-year ban on importing dogs from 113 countries over rabies concerns. The ban applies to all dogs, including emotional support dogs and dogs that have been in any high-risk countries during the past six months. The announcement comes amid a jump in dog importation, linked to the surge in dog adoptions throughout the pandemic.

Hundreds of these dogs had fraudulent rabies certificates, the CDC said. The pandemic Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prompted a surge of pet adoptions, including puppies, as Americans sought companionship while they hunkered down in their homes to protect themselves from COVID-19. That was accompanied by an increase in dog importations, along with a jump in dogs entering the country with falsified or fraudulent rabies certificates. During 2020, the CDC discovered more than 450 dogs arriving in the U.S. with falsified or fraudulent rabies certificates, a 52% increase compared with the previous two years. On “an extremely limited basis” some pet owners and other animal lovers may be granted exceptions to the ban by seeking written approval from the CDC at least 30 days before planned entry to the US, the agency said. The one-year ban is effective from 14 July and will be reviewed periodically.