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Dogs entering the United States must be 6 months old and must be microchipped to prevent the spread of rabies

Dogs entering the United States must be 6 months old and must be microchipped to prevent the spread of rabies


All dogs entering the United States from other countries must be at least six months old and microchipped to prevent the spread of rabies, according to new government rules announced Wednesday.

Under the new rules, dogs must be vaccinated if they have been to a country where rabies is endemic. The update applies not only to pets traveling with their owners in the United States, but also to dogs brought in by breeders and rescue organizations.

“This new regulation addresses the challenges we currently face,” said Emily Pieracci, a rabies expert at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention who helped draft the latest regulation.

The CDC posted the new rules in the federal registry on Wednesday. These will take effect from August 1, when the 2021 interim order expires. The order banned dogs from more than 100 countries where rabies remains a problem.

The new rules require all dogs entering the United States to be at least six months old, vaccinated if necessary, and old enough for vaccinations to be effective. A microchip with a code that can be used to confirm rabies vaccination is implanted under the skin. I have completed the new CDC import form.

Additional restrictions and requirements may be in place based on where your dog has been in the past six months. This may include a blood test at a CDC-approved laboratory.

CDC regulations were last updated in 1956, and a lot has changed, Piracci said. More people are traveling abroad with their pets, and more rescue groups and breeders are opening up overseas to meet the demand for pets, she said. Currently, approximately 1 million dogs enter the United States each year.

Dogs were once common carriers of the rabies virus in the United States, but the type commonly prevalent in dogs was eliminated through vaccination in the 1970s. This virus invades the central nervous system and is usually a fatal disease in animals and humans. It is most commonly spread by the bite of an infected animal. There is no cure once symptoms begin.

Four rabid dogs have been confirmed to have entered the United States since 2015, and authorities feared more could enter the country. CDC officials also confirmed that more puppies are being denied entry due to incomplete or fraudulent rabies vaccination certificates or because they are not old enough to be fully vaccinated. Was.

The draft regulations, updated last year, received a variety of public comments.

Angela Passman, owner of a Dallas company that helps move pets overseas, supports the new rules. She says it can be especially difficult for families who buy or adopt dogs overseas and then try to bring them to the United States. The update means little has changed from how things have been handled in recent years, she said.

“It's a lot of work for pet owners, but the end result is a good thing,” said Passman, director of the International Pet Animal Transportation Association.

But Jennifer Skiff said some of the changes were unwarranted and cost too much. She works for Animal Wellness Action, a Washington group focused on preventing animal cruelty that supports animal import organizations.

He said these organizations work with diplomatic and military personnel who have difficulty meeting the requirements, which is why some owners are forced to leave their dogs behind.




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