CFIA Bans Import of Dogs from over 100 Countries
The new measure from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) will prohibit the entry of dogs for adoption and fostering from more than 100 countries on September 28, 2022, including Qatar and China. Rescues, like GPNL, were not consulted on the plans, and this news came as a huge shock; it is devastating to the many volunteers who dedicate their time and energy to saving lives. The list of countries affected by the ban are those that CFIA considers to be at high risk for dog rabies, but rabies is 100% preventable with appropriate vaccinations.
Canada has been a beacon of hope for dogs living on the streets and in shelters in countries around the world. Bringing adoptable dogs to Canada means they are offered a second chance at life. Animal rescues have also built up a robust and complex system of veterinary care, vaccination, flight volunteers, and adoption efforts to help.
No Exemptions Offered
The policy is especially heartbreaking for our dogs in Qatar, as well as China where rescuers are saving animals from the meat trade. Unfortunately, the CFIA has currently offered no exceptions to the prohibition. Greyhound Pets NL is a Canadian federally-registered, non-profit charity. Because of our standing and our network of established rescues where our dogs come from, if there are any exemptions to be had, we will leave no stone unturned to obtain them.
SaltWire emailed CFIA’s media relations on July 12 to ask how they determine risk and who makes decisions on bans. A departmental statement advised the CFIA collaborated with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to classify countries by risk of dog rabies.
The methodology used by the CDC was evaluated by the CFIA and found to be scientifically sound and appropriate to be used by the CFIA.CFIA (reported by Saltwire)
CFIA explained that Canada’s importation laws are based on international standards and that all imported dogs must be healthy and fit to travel with no signs of illness. They have noted in both their statement to Saltwire and media releases the extreme danger of rabies spread, with 99 per cent of cases being fatal. It is, however, almost 100 per cent preventable through vaccination and proactive measures.
Highest Standards for Pet Health
GPNL’s dogs arriving from Qatar and China undergo and clear RNATT tests, which establishes that the dogs are sufficiently immune against rabies. This test is necessary for international pet travel to safeguard the local animals from rabies.
In addition to RNATT testing, all of our dogs have been fully vetted (i.e, for injuries, etc.), spayed/neutered, and fully vaccinated. Our Qatar Salukis are housed at a rescue, with many transferred to foster homes to prepare them for travel and home life. Our China dogs are housed at a rescue facility, and then transferred to a government quarantine facility prior to travel to Canada for a period of 30 days. All of our dogs have placements here in Newfoundland prior to travel, and GPNL takes full responsibility for the life of the dog in the event that they should need to be returned to our group for any reason whatsoever.
GPNL and our international rescue partners adhere to the highest standards with respect to the importation of our dogs. As stated, we are a Canadian Registered Charity and non-profit organization, relying on the generosity of our supporters and issue tax receipts upon request. As a stakeholder, we are hopeful that any exemption for Canadian federally-registered rescues can be extended to our group, and we will keep you advised as matters progress.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the import ban, please contact us at email@example.com.