Ottawa bans dog imports from certain countries to prevent rabies
Some dog rescue groups in Canada fear large numbers of dogs around the world are doomed to die as Canada prepares to ban the import of so-called ‘commercial dogs’ from dozens of countries to protect itself against rabies.
Announced in early July, the ban lists dozens of countries where rabies is considered a concern.
It comes into effect on September 28 – World Rabies Day – and follows a US policy introduced in June.
“Obviously we respect the government’s decision to ban dogs who come from countries that have rabies from coming here because we also want to protect our dogs,” said Sophie Cormier, a volunteer with the Nova Scotia-based group Save. a Life Canada Animal. Lifesaving Society.
“However, we have already taken many precautions against this. For example, we have made sure that all dogs are vaccinated against rabies, and we also do what is called ‘stricter testing’. So we make sure that they contain enough vaccine to fully protect them,” Cormier said.
Most of the group’s rescues come from the United States and Mexico, but they’ve taken dogs from Egypt, which is on the list.
Other groups in Canada have expressed deeper concerns about the move.
While declining an on-camera interview, a spokesperson for the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) provided email responses to questions from CTV News, including, “How important is rabies?”
“Rabies remains a global threat, killing an estimated 59,000 people each year worldwide in more than 100 countries considered to be at high risk for canine rabies,” the spokesperson wrote.
“Canine rabies is the main reservoir of the disease. In recent years, commercial imports of dogs have increased by 400%. Large shipments of dogs from countries where canine rabies is prevalent present a high risk of introduction and spread of this disease in Canada.
“The introduction of canine rabies poses a serious health risk to Canadians and their pets. Once symptoms appear in humans, the disease is almost always fatal,” the statement said.
“I know a lot of rescue groups are going to be disappointed, but I think it’s a good decision,” retired veterinarian Eric Carnegy told CTV News on Monday.
“It also affects people, so we’re not just protecting our dog population, we’re also protecting humans.”
The CFIA says the import ban focuses on commercial dogs, which includes dogs for resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition, research and other purposes.
“At this time, the disease risk for canine rabies is highest with the entry of commercial dogs into Canada,” the spokesperson said.
“At a later date, the CFIA will explore options to further strengthen the requirements for the importation of personal pet dogs and service dogs from these countries at high risk for canine rabies.”