USA – -(AmmoLand.com)- It’s time – and if you take action now it’s finally possible – to stop the flood of unhealthy dogs pouring into our country each year.
Thanks to the leadership of Congressman Ralph Abraham, veterinarian and medical doctor of Louisiana, and the co-sponsorship of the other two veterinarians in Congress, Kurt Schrader of Oregon and Ted Yoho of Florida, HR 6921, comprehensive, bipartisan legislation to protect the health of our pets, livestock and people was introduced on May 18, 2020.
The success of spay and neuter programs has eliminated the problem of dog overpopulation in many regions of the United States. The vast majority of US dogs are now spayed or neutered, and fewer dogs are born in the US each year. At the same time, demand for dogs has increased, outstripping US supply and leading to the import of dogs from all over the world.
According to a 2019 report, from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) more than one million dogs are imported into the US each year. However, only about one percent of those are screened for diseases such as rabies, canine brucellosis, canine influenza, hepatitis, distemper, and others. This is a threat not only to other dogs and household pets but also to our livestock, the food supply, and public health.
The US dog Import system is broken. The dogs being imported come from counties that lack the veterinary, public health, and sanitation standards found in the US. Infectious pathogens exist in many of these countries that are not native to the US or were eliminated earlier. Many of these diseases can be transmitted to people and other animals.
The Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2020 (HR 6921)
The Healthy Dog Importation Act would require every that dog entering the country be in good health, permanently identified, certified by an approved veterinarian in the country of origin to prevent fraudulent paperwork, and carry records showing that it has received all the proper vaccinations. Those entering the country for resale, transfer, or donation must be at least six months of age and accompanied by a USDA import permit. The bill would also streamline and coordinate federal oversight, ensuring documentation and import permits are shared electronically between APHIS, CDC, and Customs and Border Patrol, while clarifying APHIS' key enforcement authority.
These changes will go a long way toward ensuring that the federal government is responsibly screening the dogs entering our country each year, and discourage the spread of infectious diseases in the US.
Act now – Urge your Congress member to support HR 6921, the Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2020
Federal Register / Vol. 84, No. 21 / Thursday, January 31, 2019, / Notices, page 727
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