August 15, 2017

 

 Permits needed to import dogs not vaccinated against rabies

Posted July 26, 2017

Owners of dogs without proof of rabies vaccination will need to apply ahead of time to import those dogs from countries where rabies is endemic in dogs.

Vaccinated dogs need to arrive with rabies vaccination certificates.

Starting Aug. 18, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will require that dog owners apply for entry permits at least 10 business days prior to travel with a dog with insufficient immunization, and the agency will stop issuing confinement agreements at ports of entry. Those agreements had allowed dog owners to bring in unvaccinated dogs, provided those dogs would be confined until they had adequate immunization.

In the absence of permits, dogs without proof of proper vaccination against rabies will be returned to the countries of origin at the owners' expense.

The requirements include exceptions for owners who can show that, for the preceding six months, their dogs have been only in countries with no risk of rabies in dogs, or that their dogs are being taken to a research facility, and vaccination would interfere with the research.

The CDC is transitioning from paper-based agreements reached with owners at U.S. entry points to electronic permits, and the change is not related to any specific infections among imported dogs, according to information provided by the agency.

CDC information for travelers suggests that U.S. citizens consider their pets' rabies vaccination certificates to be passports. They must remain valid for re-entry to the U.S.

Dogs entering the U.S. without adequate rabies vaccination still will need to be confined until they are vaccinated against the disease, CDC information states.