APHIS finalizes restrictions on dog importation

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The Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a final rule, effective Nov. 17, to restrict importation of dogs into the continental United States and Hawaii for resale, veterinary treatment, or research unless the dogs are in good health, have received all necessary vaccinations, and are at least 6 months old.

USDA logoThe Food, Conservation, and Energy Act of 2008 included an amendment to the Animal Welfare Act to restrict importation of certain live dogs. APHIS is implementing that amendment with this rule.

The new rule further specifies that dogs imported to the continental United States or Hawaii for resale, veterinary treatment, or research must be accompanied by an APHIS import permit, a certificate of veterinary inspection, and a rabies vaccination certificate.

The rule allows some exceptions to the health, vaccination, and age requirements for dogs coming into the country for veterinary treatment or research.

The rule also includes an exception to the 6-month age requirement for dogs imported to Hawaii from the British Isles, Australia, Guam, or New Zealand, if the dogs are not transported out of Hawaii for resale at younger than 6 months. These areas are all rabies-free.

Related JAVMA content:

APHIS proposes restrictions on dog importation (Oct. 15, 2011)