AKC Concerned with Assumptions Contained in USDA Report on Dog Importation
Tuesday, August 27, 2019
Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) released the Report on the Importation of Live Dogs into the United States (Report). Pursuant to the 2018 Agriculture Improvement Act, the Secretary of Agriculture, in consultation with the Secretaries of Commerce, Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security, was required to release data on the number of live dogs imported into the United States over the last three calendar years.
Relying on estimates released by the Centers for Disease Control in early 2019, the Report states that approximately 1.06 million dogs enter the United States each year, including 700,000 that arrive at airports and 360,000 that arrive at land border ports of entry within Canada and Mexico. Based on the number of import permits issued by USDA in 2018, the Report concludes that only 0.28% of dogs (approximately 2,968) imported in the U.S. were for resale purposes.
For years, the American Kennel Club (AKC) has expressed deep concerns with federal and state health officials about threats to pet and public health associated with the importation of dogs with invalid or forged health certificates.
AKC is troubled that the new USDA Report assumes without substantiation that every year approximately one million personally-owned pets are imported into the United States. The AKC believes this assumption fails to reflect a large number of dogs imported as personally owned pets but actually destined for transfer.
AKC will continue to advocate for policy changes that require improved identification and verification of health certifications and health requirements to ensure that Americans and their dogs will be better protected against the threats of zoonotic diseases.
AKC Government Relations will continue to provide updates on federal and state regulatory efforts via its Regulatory Resource Center and email alerts. Access the Regulatory Resource Center at www.akcgr.org/regcenter?1.