New York, NY – The American Kennel Club® (AKC®) is pleased the United States Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA APHIS) released new regulations that will restrict the importation of puppies younger than 6 months of age into the continental United States for the purpose of resale, research or veterinary treatment. The new regulations, effective November 17, do not restrict individuals who wish to import dogs they intend to keep for personal use, such as a pet or as part of a breeding program.
The regulations implement an amendment to the 2008 Farm Bill (Pub. L. 110-246/ 7 U.S.C. 2148) designed to address public health concerns about the large numbers of puppies that are imported with little oversight into the United States for the purpose of resale or adoption. The AKC supported the amendment and provided formal comments during the rule’s public comment in September – October 2011.
The rule is designed to assure the health and welfare of dogs that are imported into the US from overseas. In many cases, these animals come from unknown origins (strays or street dogs) or unregulated high volume commercial breeders and may pose health and temperament risks to both the human and canine populations they come into contact with. The measure is expected to curtail the ”dumping” of puppies from unknown origins or substandard breeding facilities on US markets, where in many cases they may be marketed as “rescues”.
“AKC is very pleased about the new puppy import regulations released today by APHIS,” said AKC President and CEO Dennis B. Sprung. “This is the culmination of years of effort by Animal Welfare groups such as the AKC and the National Animal Interest Alliance to protect the health of canine populations in the United States while supporting our excellent American breeders.”
Strong enforcement of the Animal Welfare Act is supported by the American Kennel Club and other animal welfare organizations that recognize that that a large number of puppies are being bred overseas and imported into the United States in order to bypass the welfare regulations and standards required of U.S. breeders. In many cases, irresponsibly bred and undocumented foreign puppies end up at shelters, rescues or other informal or unregulated retail venues. Diseases borne by such animals can create public health risks for both animal and human populations.
AKC Government Relations will continue to provide information and guidance regarding the implementation and impacts of this new rule. For more information, read the alert or contact AKC Government Relations at (919) 816-3720, or firstname.lastname@example.org.