Dog on the Move

Door slammed on rescuing canines from 100 high-risk international locations


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The order is important to maintain canine rabies overseas, Canadian Meals Inspection Company says

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Jul 06, 2022  •  32 minutes in the past  •  3 minute learn  •  Be a part of the dialog Rescued dogs and cats stranded in Afghanistan arrive at Vancouver International Airport as part of an international rescue and transport mission through SPCA International and partners, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, February 1, 2022. Rescued canines and cats stranded in Afghanistan arrive at Vancouver Worldwide Airport as a part of a global rescue and transport mission by means of SPCA Worldwide and companions, in Richmond, British Columbia, Canada, February 1, 2022. Picture by JENNIFER GAUTHIER /REUTERS

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Come Sept. 28, World Rabies Day, rescue canines from greater than 100 international locations will not be allowed into Canada, a transfer referred to as draconian by some and a obligatory evil by others.

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The Canadian Meals Inspection Company stated the ban is important to cut back the danger of canine rabies moving into Canada after two canines from Iran have been discovered to be contaminated final 12 months, one not demonstrating signs till six months after arriving.

However the ban, a Vancouver animal lawyer fears, may have detrimental repercussions.

The company “acted with haste,” Victoria Shroff stated. “There can be an unintended consequence, I feel, that would circulate from this.”

She predicts home pet mills will pump up manufacturing to fill the void when the availability of obtainable canines drops.

The ban applies to canines from just about anyplace in Africa, many Latin American and Caribbean international locations, a lot of Asia and the Center East, and elements of japanese Europe, together with war-ravaged Ukraine.

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The ban applies to “industrial” canines, which incorporates canines up for adoption and fostering. It doesn’t apply to canines shifting or returning to Canada with their homeowners.

“The importation of even one rabid canine may lead to transmission to people, pets, and wildlife,” company introduced. “If an individual is uncovered, they should endure critical medical therapy.

“Canine rabies kills 59,000 folks yearly globally in over 100 international locations which can be thought of to be at high-risk for canine rabies.”

Animal Justice, a nationwide group of legal professionals advocating animal-protection laws and prosecution of animal abusers, stated the transfer is a “enormous shock” and devastating to rescue volunteers in Canada and in impoverished international locations overseas.

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Canadian dog-rescue operations weren’t consulted earlier than the announcement, lawyer Camille Labchuk, government director of Animal Justice, stated by cellphone.

“Canada is has been an actual lifeline for lots of canines all over the world that aren’t as lucky as canines in Canada,” Labchuk stated. “They’re residing on the streets, dodging visitors, not understanding the place their subsequent meal is coming from.

“Stopping rabies is extraordinarily essential, nobody would disagree with that. It’s simply that this ban goes from zero to 100 with none applicable exemptions for canines who’re coming into Canada for adoption or for humanitarian causes.”

The coverage is very heartbreaking for canines in war-torn international locations reminiscent of Ukraine and Afghanistan, she stated.

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“And for canines in international locations just like the Philippines and China, the place rescuers are saving animals from the meat commerce. Shockingly, the CFIA has provided no exceptions to the prohibition.”

Postmedia reached out to the federal company, inquiring whether or not exemptions for canines imported for adoption had been thought of, and if that’s the case why there is no such thing as a exemption. Or if an exemption was not thought of, why not?

The company didn’t reply by publication time, however a Vancouver veterinarian stated such exemptions could be unworkable.

“The brief reply is not any,” Dr. Christiane Armstrong stated. “How do you safely do it? The place do you quarantine? For a way lengthy? There are such a lot of nuances concerned, it turns into untenable.

“How does the federal government adequately regulate and consider every group and every cargo of animals coming in? It’s unimaginable.”

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Armstrong sits on the Canadian Veterinary Medical Affiliation’s nationwide points committee, and the affiliation backs the bans. She “completely” feels for canines stranded in war-torn international locations or at risk of showing on the menu, however the Canadian public’s well being (and that of their pets) trumps feelings, she stated.

“We don’t need extra (rabies) variants. You must take a look at the danger/profit.”

The federal company’s listing of high-risk international locations can be reviewed recurrently and topic to alter, in line with the company’s web site.

gordmcintyre@postmedia.com

twitter.com/gordmcintyre

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