US bans import of dogs from PH, other countries due to 'high risk' for rabies

Published June 23, 2021, 12:14 PM

by Roy Mabasa

Dogs coming from the Philippines and dozens of other countries from Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Eastern Europe, the Americas, and the Caribbean have been temporarily banned from entering the United States due to “high risk for dog rabies.”


The United States Embassy in Manila posted this advisory on its social media platforms after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) issued the “Notice of Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from High-Risk Rabies Countries” that will take effect beginning July 14, 2021.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) (via Twitter/United States Embassy Manila)

The temporary suspension will affect dogs from countries classified by CDC as high risk for dog rabies as well as in countries that are not at high risk if the dogs have been in high-risk countries during the previous six months.

According to the CDC, a temporary action is necessary to ensure the health and safety of dogs imported into the United States and to protect the public’s health against the reintroduction of canine rabies virus variant (dog rabies) into the United States.

It noted that in 2020, the CDC identified a significant increase compared with the previous 2 years in the number of imported dogs that were denied entry into the United States from high-risk countries. “Due to reduced flight schedules, dogs denied entry are facing longer wait times to be returned to their country of departure, leading to illness and even death in some cases,” it said.

The agency estimates that 6 percent of all dogs imported into the United States arrive from countries at high risk for dog rabies.

“Inadequately vaccinated dogs are not protected against rabies and are a public health threat. Rabies is fatal in both humans and animals, and the importation of even one rabid dog could result in transmission to humans, pets, and wildlife,” the CDC added.

Dog rabies has been eliminated from the United States since 2007.