CDC Extends its Suspension of Dog Imports from 110 Countries and
Issues Proposed Rule to Amend Quarantine Regulation
Summary Rule and Alert
Today NAIA commends the CDC for publishing an extension of the current suspension of dog imports from 110 countries through July 2024 along with a proposed rule that would amend foreign quarantine regulation to provide additional clarity and safeguards to address the public health risk associated with the importation of dogs into the United States.
The proposed rule incorporates a number of critical requirements, including that all dogs imported to the U.S. be microchipped. As you are aware, the Healthy Dog Importation Act (HDIA), which NAIA has been leading, would require permanent identification for all imported dogs as well as addressing the growing number of dogs imported with fraudulent documentation. CDC’s approach in the proposed rule to incorporate accredited veterinarians into the process also aligns with the HDIA. Further, the rule puts the onus on airlines to ensure importers have submitted required documentation prior to boarding. NAIA has long called for verification of health documentation prior to transport.
Due to CDC’s purview over public health, the rule only focuses on the health risks associated with rabies, and would not address concerns regarding other diseases and pathogens that affect human, companion animal, or livestock health. Nonetheless, this rule represents a huge step forward. The CDC confirmed many concerns that NAIA has raised for years, and we’ve included highlights of some of those key points the Agency has raised in their own words:
• “There is growing evidence that criminal networks are becoming involved in the lucrative dog trade”
• “Illegal puppy trade was reported to have increased during the pandemic”
• “CDC and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have documented importations every year in which flight parents transport dogs for the purpose of resale, adoption, or transfer of ownership that do not meet CDC’s entry requirements. These flight parents often claim the dogs are their personal pets to avoid U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Care entry requirements and potential tariffs or fees under CBP regulations”
• “Deterring individuals who serve as flight parents from supporting fraudulent dog importations has proven difficult despite the existence of CBP penalties relating to aiding unlawful importations and fraudulent conduct.”
While NAIA and its members have been tracking these and other gaps in federal oversight, it is a welcome step to see the CDC articulate these concerns in their proposed rule. CDC will take public comments on the rule for 60 days, and NAIA will be reaching out to you shortly about how to submit comments.
It’s critical that we continue to voice our concerns about the threats to animal and public health with the Administration and continue to express our support for the HDIA with Congress. Thank you for your efforts and support in keeping the drumbeat going. Policymakers and lawmakers in DC are hearing your voices!
Read More: CDC Proposed Rule on Dog Imports