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Taking your dog to the U.S.? New requirements go into effect Aug. 1 – BC |



B.C. residents who want to take their dogs across the border to the U.S. will have to meet additional requirements starting Aug. 1.

The Center for Disease Control is implementing these changes to make sure any dog arriving in the U.S. is healthy and doesn’t present a risk to any community.

Starting on Aug. 1, all dogs entering the U.S. must:

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West Vancouver family outraged that the dog they were about to adopt was suddenly put down

The CDC says additional requirements may be needed if the dog has been to different locations in the last six months and whether the dog was vaccinated in the U.S.

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Dr. Adrian Walton, a veterinarian in Maple Ridge told Global News that these new rules are “going to make life very challenging for anybody who wants to cross the border with their pets.”

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He said the problem is that there is a lot of information for people to know and it is confusing.

“There’s a whole range of different requirements that vary depending on each individual animal, where it’s from, when it was vaccinated, the age at the moment,” he said.

“What we think people are going to need is some preplanning to apply for the import permit, a valid microchip and current rabies, and making sure that their veterinarian has signed a form stating that the animals are healthy and you need to have that within 30 days of any attempt to travel across the border.”

Walton said he hopes that by Aug. 1 there are going to be more details about the requirements as even veterinarians are confused by the process.

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Impact of new measure to protect against dog rabies

Dogs arriving from countries with a high risk of dog rabies must be protected against rabies, the CDC states on its website.

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The rabies virus variant that dogs carry was eliminated in the U.S. in 2007 and the CDC says it wants it to stay that way.

The temporary suspension on the importation of dogs from countries with a high risk of rabies, enacted during the COVID-19 pandemic, will also lift on Aug. 1, bringing the regulation to align with the World Organization for Animal Health’s standards for the international movement of dogs from countries with a high risk of dog rabies.

“We had a case in Toronto just a couple of years ago where dozens of people were exposed to a dog that was tested positive for rabies, and they all had to receive treatment,” Walton said.

“Because the thing about canine rabies is if at any point you develop clinical signs and you don’t know that you’ve been exposed to rabies, it’s a death sentence. We’re not talking you just get really sick. We’re talking, you die.”

The CDC says travellers should plan for future travel to ensure requirements for dog importations will be met at the time their dogs will enter the United States.

A tool named DogBot is available to help travellers.

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