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Friday, May 10, 2019

 The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has temporarily suspended the importation of dogs from Egypt, effective May 10, 2019.  This suspension also applies to dogs originating in Egypt that are imported from or routed through third-party countries if the dogs lived in those countries for less than six months.

This action is in response to multiple incidents of rescue dogs with rabies imported from Egypt and distributed in the U.S.  The suspension will continue until veterinary controls are established in Egypt to prevent the export of rabid dogs.

Cases during the last 48 months include:

  • On January 29, 2019, a shipment of 26 dogs was imported from Egypt to the U.S. through Canada by a Kansas-based rescue organization. All 26 dogs were placed into foster care or adopted in the Kansas City metro area. One of the imported rescue dogs, after biting a veterinary technician and exhibiting signs of illness, tested positive for rabies. Additional CDC testing confirmed that the dog was infected in Egypt prior to arrival in the U.S.
  • On December 20, 2017, a shipment of four dogs exported by a U.S.-based animal rescue group in Cairo, Egypt arrived at John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) in New York City for distribution in Connecticut, Maryland, and Virginia. A fifth dog on the flight shared the cargo hold. One of the four imported rescue dogs exhibited symptoms, bit a veterinary technician during a blood draw procedure, and died shortly thereafter. The Connecticut Department of Public Health Laboratory confirmed rabies virus infection and additional CDC testing confirmed that the dog was infected in Egypt prior to arrival in the U.S.
  • On May 30, 2015, a shipment of 8 dogs and 27 cats arrived at JFK from Cairo, Egypt for distribution in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Maryland, and Virginia. A female stray dog imported by an animal rescue group as part of this shipment became ill. Because of concern about rabies, a veterinarian euthanized the dog and submitted tissue for rabies testing. Laboratory testing confirmed rabies infection and CDC testing confirmed that the dog was infected in Egypt prior to arrival in the U.S.

 Who Is Affected? 

The suspension on dog importation from Egypt applies regardless of the reason for importation or whether dogs are hand-carried, checked as passenger baggage, or transported as cargo.  Airlines and U.S. Customs and Border Protection will verify dogs’ countries of origin. Dogs that arrive improperly will be sent back to Egypt at the owner’s expense.

U.S. citizens living or deployed in Egypt who are affected by the ban should contact the CDC. A CDC FAQ states: “On an extremely limited basis, CDC may permit dog importations from Egypt with advanced written approval. Advanced written approval is not automatically granted when you submit your application and documents. No permits will be issued at a port of entry and your dog may be denied entry and returned to Egypt.”

Contact the Director of CDC’s Division of Global Migration and Quarantine at for information and application materials at least 10 business days in advance.

AKC Urges Compliance

To help protect animal and human health, the AKC urges every person who enters or re-enters the U.S. with dogs, imports dogs, or engages the interstate transport and sales/adoption of dogs to understand and comply with all applicable federal and state rules and regulations.

The interstate transport and sales/adoption of dogs within the U.S. is also subject to federal and state requirements that may include USDA licensure or registration, current Certificates of Veterinary Inspection, and minimum age requirements for transported and transferred puppies.

For dog owners, proof of your dog’s rabies inoculation is required by most states when traveling or vacationing with dogs.

Resources and Contact Information:

CDC Notice

Federal Register, Volume 84 Issue 91, 5-10-2019

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Information regarding the CDC’s notice: Ashley A. Altenburger, J.D., Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-H16-4, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Information regarding CDC operations related to this action: Kendra Stauffer, D.V.M., Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600 Clifton Road NE, MS-V-18-2, Atlanta, GA 30329.

Ms. Altenburger and Dr. Stauffer can be reached at (404) 498-1600, or email

General Information:

CDC: Bringing a Dog into the United States

USDA: Pet Travel, Bringing Dogs into the US

USDA: State Regulations for Importing Animals

USDA/APHIS Animal Care: How to Bring Dogs into the US for Commercial Sale or Adoption

USDA Animal Care Regulations

US Customs and Border Patrol: Dog Importation Requirements by US Agencies

Please contact each agency for the most up-to-date information. Contact your State Veterinarian for current state requirements.

For additional resources, please contact AKC Government Relations at 919-816-3720 or email