Imported Pets - Tighter Restrictions Needed

When one thinks of border protection, its generally in connection with people smuggling and drugs.  Border protection also includes the safeguarding of our health and welfare.  Now, we are confronted with the ugly fact that Canine Influenza has invaded our country and has placed our pets at risk.  

Scientists have little doubt that the canine influenza virus H3N2 currently infecting hundreds of dogs in the Midwest was brought to this country by an imported dog. “We have absolutely, without a shadow of a doubt, proof that a foreign animal disease has been imported into the U.S.,” Dr. Ed Dubovi, Director of Cornell’s Animal Health Diagnostic Center said.  He further stated,  “I don’t think anyone can look at this situation and say we’re protecting our animal population the best we can.”

Dr. Dubovi went on to state, “My concern all along was that someday this virus might make its way here...We don’t know how it happened, but it certainly could have come from a dog or a cat. There are multiple international groups who are rescuing dogs from the meat market in Korea and shipping them into the U.S., and we have sketchy quarantine requirements if any at all. Restrictions on the movements of companion animals across borders are somewhat nonexistent.”

The ball is now in the court of the Centers for Disease Control, who oversees importation of dogs and cats and whose oversight on animals coming into this country is sorely lacking.  For additional information click here to read the entire article.

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