Earlier this week, the United States announced a surprise move: banning dogs from entering the country for the first time or returning to the area after spending time outside. Starting July 14, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) will ban you (or anyone else for that matter) from importing dogs from countries that the CDC considers to be high risk for dog rabies. In fact, you won’t be able to import dogs that have spent any time in such high-risk countries during the previous six months either. The CDC currently lists 113 countries as high-risk that have been providing an estimated 6% of all dogs imported into the U.S.
The measure will affect more than 100 countries, including Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Cuba, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Peru, Suriname, and Venezuela.
There are other types of regulations in countries that prohibit the entry and/or sale of dogs.
The only way to get past these new bans will be to apply for a CDC Dog Import Permit and send an email to CDC at least 30 business days (which translates to about 6 weeks) before you intend to enter the U.S. The CDC will then review your case and reasoning, rendering a decision. And this decision will be final. Without such advanced written approval from the CDC, you can’t get an exception to the ban.
It is important to stay up to date with travel alerts from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) as this ban is expected to be temporary. Meanwhile, the countries on the list may change.