Last year, a Working Group was established to review the issue of importation of dogs into Canada and to come up with options and recommendations to:
- Mitigate the risks to animal health (domestic and wildlife) and public health posed by the current system through which dogs are imported from abroad.
- Mitigate the same risks posed by unmonitored movement of animals within Canada (particularly from remote northern regions)
- Address animal welfare issues with regard to transportation of companion animals exhibiting clinical signs of illness within and at Canadian borders.
The time might be right to be thinking about this topic again. We saw large numbers of “Sochi” dogs shipped out of Russia after the 2014 Sochi Olympics. Already, people are talking about “Rio 2016” dogs. The Rio 2016 Olympic Committee is actually running a program to adopt stray dogs from Olympic venues and find homes for them – in Brazil. That’s great. “Rio 2016” becoming the next fad pet in other countries wouldn’t be so great.
The report doesn’t say importation shouldn’t be allowed. However, there’s a need to make sure it’s done better to minimize the risks to the imported dogs, to local dogs and to people.
Will anything come from this report? Only time will tell, but hopefully it will lead to more discussion and ideally some changes in regulations to reduce the inherent risks of importation.
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