We’ve seen some increased awareness of the risks associated with dog importation, and countries taking measures to reduce disease and welfare problems, including here in Canada and more recently potential future measures in the UK.

The US just raised the bar a huge amount with new restrictions on importation of dogs from over 100 countries considered high-risk for canine rabies, which were announced today.  Starting July 14, 2021, dogs from those countries will not be allowed into the US, except for those with advanced approval on “an extremely limited basis.” Dogs from those countries that show up at the US border without pre-approval will be returned to their country of origin at the importer’s expense.

This is a logical move to try to curtail high risk activities that could potentially result in the importation of rabid dogs. It will interfere with some legitimate rescues, but more importantly it will impact massive puppy mill exporters and puppy brokers. Whether that will just drive those dogs to other countries (e.g. Canada… we import huge numbers of dogs from countries on this list) is unclear.  It will be interesting to see if other countries follow suit with similar restrictions.

The full list of countries considered high-risk for rabies is below:


  • Algeria, Angola
  • Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi
  • Cameroon, Central African Republic, Chad, Comoros, Côte D’Ivoire (Ivory Coast)
  • Democratic Republic of the Congo, Djibouti
  • Egypt (Temporary importation suspension of dogs from Egypt until further notice)
  • Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Eswatini (Swaziland), Ethiopia
  • Gabon, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau
  • Kenya
  • Lesotho, Liberia, Libya
  • Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Mozambique
  • Namibia, Niger, Nigeria
  • Republic of the Congo, Rwanda
  • Sao Tome and Principe, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Africa, South Sudan, Sudan
  • Tanzania (including Zanzibar), Togo, Tunisia
  • Uganda
  • Western Sahara
  • Zambia, Zimbabwe

Americas & Caribbean

  • Belize, Bolivia, Brazil
  • Colombia, Cuba
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador, El Salvador
  • Guatemala, Guyana
  • Haiti, Honduras
  • Nicaragua
  • Peru
  • Suriname
  • Venezuela

Asia and the Middle East, Eastern Europe

  • Afghanistan, Armenia, Azerbaijan
  • Bangladesh, Belarus, Bhutan, Brunei
  • Cambodia, China (excluding Hong Kong and Taiwan)
  • Georgia
  • India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq
  • Jordan
  • Kazakhstan, Kuwait, Kyrgyzstan
  • Laos, Lebanon
  • Malaysia, Moldova, Mongolia, Myanmar (Burma)
  • Nepal, North Korea
  • Oman
  • Pakistan, Philippines
  • Qatar
  • Russia
  • Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Syria
  • Tajikistan, Thailand, Timor-Leste (East Timor), Turkey, Turkmenistan
  • Ukraine, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan
  • Vietnam
  • Yemen