The United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service has issued a new federal order that imposes restrictions on the importation of live dogs for resale from regions where African swine fever (ASF) exists or is reasonably believed to exist.
Regions include: The continent of Africa, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Brazil (excluding the State of Santa Catarina), Burma (aka Myanmar), Cambodia, People’s Republic of China, Cuba, Dominican Republic, any restricted zone in the European Union (EU) established by the EU or any EU Member State because of detection of African swine fever in domestic or feral swine, Georgia, Haiti, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, North Korea, South Korea, Laos, Malaysia, Mauritius, Moldova, Mongolia, Papua New Guinea, The Philippines, Russia, Serbia, East Timor, Ukraine, and Vietnam.
According to APHIS, ASF is not a threat to human health, but is a highly-contagious disease of wild and domestic swine that can spread rapidly in swine populations with extremely high rates of morbidity and mortality. If ASF were introduced into the U.S., the impact for the domestic pork industry, which has a gross output of $23.4 billion annually, could be catastrophic. As part of the efforts to prevent introduction of ASF into the U.S., APHIS monitors possible pathways of introduction of ASF into the United States.
APHIS has determined that dogs imported from ASF-affected countries for resale purposes, along with their bedding, represent such a possible pathway for the introduction of disease. Dogs for resale include any transfer of ownership or control of an imported dog for more than de minimis consideration.
Effective immediately, importers of dogs into the United States for resale from a region in which ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist, must submit written documentation verifying completion of the following requirements:
- The dog(s) and their shipping crate/container must be free of dirt, wood shavings, hay, straw, or any other organic/natural bedding material.
- All bedding that accompanies the dog(s) during transit must be properly disposed of at the U.S. post-entry point(s) of concentration.
- Each dog must have an ISO-compliant microchip implanted, and the individual microchip number must be verified immediately before each animal is bathed.
- Each dog must be bathed at the U.S. post-entry point(s) of concentration within 2 calendar days of arrival in the United States. Bathing must be documented in the Veterinary Services Dog Import Record.
Documented non-compliance with any of APHIS’ import requirements by an importer could result in the suspension or revocation of import permit issuance or other appropriate enforcement action based on the situation.
For more information regarding this Federal Order you may contact APHIS’ Staff Veterinary Medical Officer in Live Animal Imports, Dr. Mary Kate Anderson, at 301-851-3300 x Option 2, or via email at VS.Live.Animals.Import.Export@usda.gov.
AKC’s Regulatory Resource Center also provides updates on federal and state regulatory actions. Go to www.akcgr.org/regcenter to learn more about regulations impacting dogs.