US bans dogs from over 100 countries amid concerns of rabies virus variant
- The ban will come into effect from July 14
- The tageted nations include Dominican Republic, Cuba, China, Russia, Ukraine, and India among others
- The temporary ban has been implemented to prevent the reintroduction of a canine rabies virus variant in the US
Amid rising concerns over the spread of rabies in the United States, the administration has temporarily banned entry of dogs from over 100 countries, announced the federal health officials on Monday. The ban will come into effect from July 14.
The countries, which are targeted in the ban include Dominican Republic, Cuba, Colombia, China, Russia, Ukraine, India and the Philippines, are considered to be at high risk for spreading the fatal rabies virus, the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention said.
The temporary ban has been implemented to prevent the reintroduction of a canine rabies virus variant in the US, said CDC officials. The rabies virus variant has been eliminated from the US since 2007, reported The New York Times.
“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 said on its website.
Due to the ban, nearly 100,000 of the one million dogs, which are brought to the US each year, would be denied entry but exceptions would be made for a limited basis for owners of service dogs and foreigners, who are travelling stateside with their pets, according to the CDC.
In 2020, the number of dogs coming from high-risk countries, which were denied entry in the US, rose by 52% compared to the previous two years, health officials said, quoted the NYT.
Dogs, coming mostly from Russia, Ukraine and Colombia, were denied entry as their paperwork overstated their age and was fraudulent, the CDC said. Earlier, dogs coming from high-risk nations needed to be at least four months old, so that they could get vaccinated against rabies.