Jun 14, 2021 - Health

CDC to halt imports of dogs from over 100 countries due to rabies concerns

Dogs on an airplane.

Photo: Andy Cross/The Denver Post via Getty Images

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced Monday that it will temporarily halt the importation of dogs from 113 countries over rabies concerns.

Why it matters: The CDC said the "temporary action is necessary to ensure the health and safety of dogs imported into the United States and to protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of canine rabies virus variant into the United States," per Reuters. The ban will take effect July 14.

Driving the news: Emily Pieracci, a veterinary medical officer at the CDC, told Reuters that throughout the pandemic, "there has been a significant increase in the number of dogs that are being imported and presenting fraudulent or falsified rabies vaccination certificates."

  • Pieracci also told Reuters that a number of dog vaccination programs around the world have been canceled because of the pandemic.

Details: Approximately 1 million dogs are imported into the U.S. annually, per Reuters. The ban, expected to last about a year, is predicted to affect about 6% of dogs that would have been imported to the U.S.

  • The 113 countries classified by the CDC as high-risk for dog rabies include Russia, China, India, Brazil, Peru, Kenya, Ecuador, Indonesia, among others.
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