Tell the CDC that Rescues Should Not Be Penalized by New Rule Banning Imports of Dogs

Tell the CDC that Rescues Should Not Be Penalized by New Rule Banning Imports of Dogs

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No Dogs Left Behind, Inc. started this petition to U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

The news on June 14, 2021 of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) temporary ban on the importation of dogs from 113 high risk rabies countries was a total shock to all of us in the international animal rescue community.  This arbitrary determination impacts dogs around the world and will have a devastating impact on the operations of legitimate rescues around the world who are working tirelessly to help save dogs from extreme cruelty, neglect and slaughter.
 
Speaking on behalf of our organization, No Dogs Left Behind, Inc. (NDLB), as well as countless other registered 501(c)(3) animal rescue organizations, we always follow strict protocols when it comes to vaccinations, paperwork, and the safe transportation of our dogs. We comply with all regulatory requirements for importation and obtain an APHIS Dog Import Permit prior to our dogs leaving China.  The decision by the CDC to ban all dogs, including dogs imported for adoption, threatens the work of countless organizations fighting the good fight on the front lines to save dogs and advocating for global animal welfare laws.  To be clear, if we cannot transport the dogs to their adopters in the United States, WE CANNOT CONTINUE TO SAVE LIVES.

The CDC has stated that the ban will be reevaluated in a year, and that in the meantime, exceptions can be made on a case-by-case basis.  Such exceptions, however, are extremely limited and expressly prohibit the ability of any rescue group – even legitimate and recognized 501(c)(3) organizations – to apply for an exception.  The few available exemptions include dogs being imported for science, education and exhibition.  We question why the CDC has allowed this very limited number of dog importers to be exempt from the ban if they submit certain additional documentation, but expressly prohibits rescues the ability to submit such documentation.  We see no valid reason for how this distinction of importers protects the CDC’s concern for public health.

Indeed, there is a way to achieve the goal of protecting people and dogs in the United States from rabies without a wholesale ban on the importation of dogs from all over the world.  For starters, they could allow rescues to submit the same documentation that they allow dogs being imported for exhibition (including rabies titers and photographs of the dogs’ teeth for age purposes).  They could also require a pet password with a QR code that is only activated for entry onto the plane once all of the documentation has been reviewed and verified by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and/or the CDC.  These are just a few examples, but there are countless more that we believe the CDC should be exploring before implementing a wholesale ban on the importation of dogs from these 113 countries.
 
Therefore, we respectfully request the CDC to meet with NDLB and its coalition of animal welfare organizations around the world and collaborate on a way to find a narrowly tailored solution that (1) solves the CDC’s concern for public safety and the issue of dogs being abandoned at the airports when denied entry, and (2) allows legitimate rescue operations to continue their life saving work abroad and adopt dogs into the United States.  To this end, we implore the CDC to delay implementation of this ban for a minimum of three (3) to six (6) months to allow these solutions to be explored and to allow rescues the time to transport those dogs who have already been adopted and waiting in one of these 113 countries to come home.  Working collaboratively with those in the rescue industry would allow the CDC to achieve its goal of ensuring public safety without causing rescues all over the world to cease lifesaving rescue missions to save dogs globally.

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