Animal associations

Animal welfare groups scramble ahead of import ban

Animal welfare groups are scrambling to bring dogs to Canada.

Next month, a Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) policy will ban imports from more than 100 countries, potentially leaving behind thousands of adoptable dogs.

According to the agency, the ban will prohibit the entry of commercial dogs from countries it considers to be at high risk for canine rabies from September 28.

“Canada currently has no active cases of canine rabies, a different strain of rabies typically found in wild animals, such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats,” the official said. CFIA.

“However, in 2021, dogs were imported into Canada with this disease. Following these events, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and provincial public health authorities asked the CFIA to take action to address the risks associated with imported dogs.

According to the agency, rabies is over 99% fatal to humans and dogs once they begin to show symptoms and is nearly 100% preventable with proper animal vaccination.

Golden Rescue, a Canadian animal welfare and adoption organization, said their partners in Turkey and Egypt had followed all vaccination protocols, and the ban could put thousands of dogs at risk.

“We are appalled. We are distraught,” said Viiva Tamm, co-chair of Golden Rescue.

“One of our protocols with our security partners overseas is that they must administer the rabies vaccine 45 days in advance and that it must be approved by the Canadian government.”

Golden Retriever Rescue in Istanbul said the ban would likely lead to the shelter exceeding capacity, leaving the dogs on the streets.

“There are a lot of golden retrievers on the streets, and unless we can send them to Canada, there is no capacity with our rescue that we can hold them in the rescue farm,” Ahmet Cullu said. , spokesperson for Golden Retriever rescue.

Over the next month, Golden Rescue plans to rescue approximately 130 dogs before the September 28 deadline.