Today the National Animal Interest Alliance (NAIA) hails the bipartisan introduction of the Healthy Dog Importation Act in the U.S. Senate.
The legislation, introduced by Senators Tina Smith (D-MN) and Chuck Grassley (R-IA), establishes commonsense health and vaccination requirements for the more than one million dogs imported into the U.S. each year. Representatives Kurt Schrader (D-OR) and Dusty Johnson (R-SD) introduced companion legislation in the House in June.
Under current law, only one percent of canine imports are subject to an adequate health screening to ensure they are healthy enough to travel and free of disease and parasites. The Healthy Dog Importation Act modernizes our outdated inspection system and equips the U.S. Department of Agriculture with the authority and resources needed to oversee and monitor the large number of dogs imported into our country.
“NAIA is grateful to Senators Smith and Grassley for introducing this timely legislation. The pandemic has highlighted the need to better protect the U.S. from highly contagious pathogens and zoonotic diseases,” said Patti Strand, founder and President of NAIA.
“For years, public health agencies have documented cases where imported dogs have brought in rabies, new strains of canine influenza, leptospirosis, screwworm, and other diseases and pests that threaten animal and human health.