Effective tomorrow, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has suspended importation of dogs to the US that:

  • are from Egypt, or
  • originated in Egypt and have been in another country for less than 6 months.

This is being done because of multiple cases of rabies in imported dogs specifically from Egypt over the past few years (including some with falsified vaccination certificates). Despite rules for high risk countries like Egypt, rabid dogs can still slip into the country because of ineffective vaccines, fraudulent health records and the potentially long incubation period of this disease.

Banning dogs travelling directly from Egypt will be straightforward. Banning dogs that have recently been in Egypt will be more of a challenge. For example, if they go to another country considered high risk for canine rabies, they’d need to get a new rabies vaccination certificate (hopefully along with a valid vaccine!) from that country, otherwise the Egyptian certificate would give away their recent origin. It’s a somewhat surprising step since regulation and restriction of dog importation tends to be low priority, but it’s good to see.

Let’s see if other countries (yes, I’m talking about you Canada) follow suit, since a large number of dogs are imported into Canada from Egypt every year.