AKC Position Statements
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Dogs are more popular today than ever. The demand for pet dogs—without accounting for population growth—is more than 8 million dogs annually. To meet this demand, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that a million dogs are imported annually.
Exponential growth in the import of dogs, particularly from random sources, has resulted in recent incidents of dogs with non-native parasites and zoonotic diseases such as rabies, viral infections, brucellosis and others being imported and passed into the general public.
Current pet import oversight mechanisms administered by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the U.S. Customs were established prior to the exponential growth in imports and are unable to adequately check canine health upon entry or protect against the public and animal health threat this represents.
The American Kennel Club recognizes the value of importing breeding stock from overseas, freedom of choice in selecting a pet, and ensuring that people may travel with their pets with a minimum of disruption. However, we are also concerned about the increasing documented incidences of the importation of unhealthy random-source pets, particularly for transfer, where public and pet health may be inadequately protected.
AKC supports efforts to ensure that all dogs imported into the United States are fully immunized; free of infection, parasites and contagious diseases; and are individually certified as such by a qualified veterinarian.
An increasing number of dogs are brought into the U.S. from overseas: over 1 million a year, coming from countries like Turkey, China, and South Korea.