More than 50 members of Congress call on CDC to lift suspension on dog imports from 113 countries


Photo by Jennifer Skiff

This strong bipartisan call for the CDC to rescind its policy of banning dog imports from 113 countries is just the latest indicator that Congress is fed up with the agency on this issue. “

– Marty Irby, Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action

WASHINGTON, DC, United States, September 28, 2021 / – Last night, 57 bipartisan members of the US House of Representatives, including 35 Democrats and 22 Republicans, sent a letter to the leadership of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) urging the agency to reverse its brutal suspension of dog imports from 113 countries, effective July 14. In the letter, members called on the agency “to work with stakeholders to create a solution that not only protects public health but also allows responsible members of the pet rescuer community to continue their work.”

The letter – led by Reps Ted Deutch, D-Fla., And Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., And supported by Bunny’s Buddies and Animal welfare action – follows a House-passed amendment designed by Animal Wellness Action and led by Representatives Kathleen Rice, DN.Y., Fitzpatrick and Kurt Schrader, D-Oregon, designed to fund better inspections and streamline Declaration-compliant operations of the CDC in the federal registry that more resources must be provided for FY22 to lift the ban on dog imports from 113 countries.

“This strong bipartisan call for the CDC to rescind its policy of banning dog imports from 113 countries is just the latest indicator that Congress is fed up with the agency on this issue,” Marty Irby said. , Executive Director of Animal Wellness Action. “We applaud Representatives Deutch and Fitzpatrick and all members of Congress who have joined in recognizing that our military heroes, diplomats, and other citizens abroad should not be forced to part ways with their pets and sever their families. connections.”

“The entire Bunny’s Buddies community is so grateful to see so many animal lovers come together to fight for what these dogs deserve! There are so many large rescue groups out to do the right thing, with local and international rescues, and this letter from Congressmen Deutch and Fitzpatrick gives us all real hope! We are celebrating this great victory and will continue to fight for the right of a reputable group to import these dogs, ”said Amanda Jo, founder of Bunny’s Buddies.

“The CDC’s ban does not recognize the complexity of international dog rescue transport,” said Representative Ted Deutch, D-Fla. “We can protect public health while allowing rescue groups to continue their work. American families should be able to save animals from abroad, as long as we ensure they are free from any disease that poses a threat. for those families or their other furry friends. “

“The ban on importing dogs into the United States from over 100 countries threatens the welfare of potential dogs who are subjected to horrific and inhumane conditions in foreign countries,” said Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa. “If international pet rescue organizations are unable to resume their work, the future for the majority of these vulnerable and abandoned animals is bleak. I am committed to working with my bipartisan colleagues and the CDC to find alternative solutions to safely and effectively import rescue dogs into the United States so that they have a chance for a better life and the opportunity to find a home forever.

“This decision, taken without consultation with stakeholders, has caused chaos, financial hardship and emotional turmoil for members of our military, foreign service, US citizens and charities,” said Jennifer Skiff, director international programs at Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Human Economy. “Those affected have spoken and Congress is acting now, for the second time. We thank them and ask the CDC to act quickly to get the dogs home.

“The CDC’s decision left 120 of our dogs – all survivors of the dog meat trade – stranded in China with no way to return home to the American families who adopted them,” said Jackie Finnegan, vice-president. president and CEO of US operations at No Dogs. Left behind. “Thank you to everyone who contacted their representatives to denounce the CDC’s decision. We are grateful to members of Congress who listened to and signed this letter. “

“Adoptions in the United States are a lifeline for many relief groups working around the world. The CDC’s sweeping ban puts undue financial pressure on these organizations operating on tight budgets, forcing them to refuse grants. animals in need. These rescue dogs provide vital mental health support for individuals, especially for members of the US service on long deployments, “said Lori Kalef, director of programs, SPCA International.” SPCA International has helped safely bring over 600 of these dogs to the United States to live with their service members; leaving these dogs behind would mean imminent death. We urge the CDC to develop a new policy that will continue to protect American citizens without endangering dogs rescued abroad. “


This bipartite letter also aims to streamline the inspections and process of importing dogs into the United States. dog imports from 113 countries.

Many of these countries have undeveloped animal care programs, and private humanitarian efforts originating in the United States are a lifeline for tens of thousands of dogs each year. Much of this work is at risk because of the CDC rule. The American animal welfare charities have dogs that have been checked and vaccinated against rabies that were pre-adopted by American families and were scheduled to fly this summer. Charities have not been granted exemptions to bring them home.

This is a case where the CDC does not conduct an appropriate risk assessment. The CDC estimates that one million dogs are imported into the United States each year, but from 2015 until the suspension was announced in June, only three cases of canine rabies entered the country and all of them came from Egypt. The United States has live wildlife markets and mink farms – both of which pose immediate threats to public health due to their ability to spread zoonotic diseases to humans and wildlife – the CDC should devote to more energy to solve these problems.

Animal Wellness Action is a 501 (c) (4) organization based in Washington, DC, whose mission is to help animals by promoting legal standards that prohibit cruelty. We champion causes that alleviate the suffering of pets, farm animals and wildlife. We advocate for policies to end dog and rooster fighting and other forms of malicious cruelty and to combat factory farming and other systemic forms of animal exploitation. To prevent cruelty, we encourage the adoption of good public policies and strive to enforce those policies. To pass good laws, we need to elect good lawmakers, and that’s why we remind voters which candidates care about our problems and which don’t. We believe that helping animals helps us all.

Marty irby
Animal welfare action
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