Since July 14, the US authorities have introduced a temporary ban on the import of dogs from 113 countries, including Russia, due to the threat of the spread of canine rabies.
As the American Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) stated earlier in this regard, these restrictions are necessary “in order to ensure the health and safety of dogs imported into the United States, as well as to protect the health of the country’s population from the re-entry of the canine rabies virus into the United States.”
Russia, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, mainland China, Ukraine, Moldova, as well as countries in Africa, South America, the Caribbean and the Asian region have joined the list of 113 countries that will be banned on Wednesday. The sanitary regulator clarified that the countries that have fallen under the restriction account for about 6% of all dogs imported to the United States. It is not specified how long this ban will be in effect.
The Center emphasizes that in extreme cases, owners of four-legged animals can be granted exceptions to the new rule, allowing the import of the animal. To do this, you need to make a special application at least six weeks before visiting the United States. Otherwise, pets arriving from the countries mentioned in the list with a high risk of rabies infection will be sent back at the owner’s expense.
The regulator noted that the United States eradicated the canine rabies virus back in 2007, but even one infected individual can lead to the transmission of the deadly disease to humans, as well as to domestic and wild animals.
In the United States, all dogs are vaccinated against rabies for the first time at three to four months, and then after reaching a year. In adult dogs, the vaccination is done once every three years. According to the official statement of the CDC, the canine rabies virus was eradicated in the United States in 2007, while about 5 thousand cases of rabies virus detection in animals are recorded every year, 90% of them are in the wild. The main carriers of rabies today are bats, raccoons, skunks and foxes. From 1960 to 2018, 127 cases of human rabies infection were recorded in the United States, a quarter of them as a result of a bite of a dog with rabies during a foreign trip.