US Temporarily Bans Dogs Brought From 100 Countries Over Risk of Rabies – NBC4 Washington

U.S. health officials announced on Monday that they would ban dogs from more than 100 countries where rabies remains a problem for a year.

Dogs from those countries already needed evidence of rabies vaccination. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a ban has been imposed as the number of puppies denied entry because they were not old enough to be fully vaccinated.

The ban will come into effect on July 14.

Douglas Kratt, President of the American Veterinary Medical Association, praised this decision.

Krat, a veterinarian in Lacrosse, Wisconsin, said:

The ban applies to dogs entering and leaving the country, including pets or dogs brought in for sale or adoption. For example, if an American couple takes their dog to Belize, they cannot be brought back to the United States unless they spend the first six months in a country where the risk of rabies is not high.

Approximately one million dogs are brought to the United States each year, and the ban is expected to apply to 4% to 7.5%, officials said. Exceptions are allowed in some situations, such as foreigners migrating to the United States with guide dogs and pets.

Most of the recently rejected dogs came from three countries: Russia, Ukraine and Colombia. However, CDC rabies expert Emily Pieratch said many other denials urged the CDC to ban dogs from all countries at high risk for rabies.

Many of the denials were due to fraudulent paperwork claiming that the dog was more than four months old, Pieracci said. Dogs under 4 months are not allowed because rabies vaccination will not be fully effective before the dog reaches that age.

Rabies is a fatal disease in animals and humans, usually caused by a virus that invades the central nervous system. Most commonly, it is spread by bites from infected animals. If symptoms begin to appear, there is no cure, but vaccination can prevent them.

Dogs were once a common carrier of the virus in the United States, but the type that normally circulates in dogs was eliminated in the United States by vaccination in the 1970s. In 1988, a new type of dog rabies was introduced from Mexico. It spread to wild coyotes and took 19 years to remove.

The second wave case “emphasizes the potential impact of a single case of imported rabies on wildlife, livestock, and people,” Pierac said.

Demand for dogs is believed to have increased during the COVID-19 pandemic, and Americans want a furry companionship, Pierac said.

However, she added that some dog rabies vaccination programs had to be interrupted or canceled during the pandemic, increasing the risk of bringing in rabies dogs.


The Associated Press’s Department of Health Sciences is supported by the Department of Science Education at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. AP is solely responsible for all content.

US Temporarily Bans Dogs Brought From 100 Countries Over Risk of Rabies – NBC4 Washington

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