New Canadian measure prohibiting the entry of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies

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 Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA)

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing a new measure to protect Canadians and their pets and to reduce the risk of introducing dog rabies (rabies caused by canine-variant viruses) into Canada.

As of September 28, 2022, World Rabies Day, commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies will no longer be permitted entry into Canada. Commercial dogs can include but are not limited to dogs for resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition, research, and other purposes.

Canada does not currently have any active cases of dog rabies, a strain that is different than rabies typically found in wildlife, such as skunks, foxes, raccoons, and bats. However, in 2021, dogs were imported into Canada with this disease. Following these events, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and provincial public health authorities have asked the CFIA to take action to address the risks of imported dogs.

Rabies is over 99% fatal for humans and dogs once they start to show symptoms and is nearly 100% preventable with proper vaccination of animals. The importation of even 1 rabid dog could result in transmission to humans, pets, and wildlife. If a person is exposed, they need to undergo serious medical treatment.

Dog rabies kills 59,000 people every year globally in over 100 countries that are considered to be at high-risk for dog rabies.

Importing commercial dogs from these countries poses a serious public health risk to Canadians. The CFIA’s new measure will help reduce the risk of imported commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies. Several other countries also have strict import conditions to reduce the risk of importing dogs infected with dog rabies and other diseases… [more]

The CFIA continues to work with PHAC, Canada Border Services Agency and other federal government partners to implement this measure. The CFIA will explore options to further strengthen the requirements for the import of personal pet dogs and assistance dogs from these countries at high-risk for dog rabies.

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