Rabies concerns are preventing dogs that might have been abused or slated for meat markets in other countries from being adopted in America as pets.
But a group of U.S. lawmakers say the ban, implemented by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, is unnecessary.
U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Boca Raton, a self-proclaimed animal lover, recently sent a letter to the CDC on behalf of 57 politicians from both sides of the aisle, asking the organization to reevaluate the ban.
“The U.S. House recently passed an amendment to provide CDC with $3 million for a more rigorous screening program for dogs about to enter the U.S.,” the letter said. “That is a far more discerning and sensible approach than a categorical ban of dog imports from more than 100 nations.”
The CDC implemented the ban on dogs from 113 countries in July because it identified a “significant increase” in the number of dogs denied entry into the U.S. from high-risk countries compared to the previous two years.
Among the countries in the ban are Brazil, Cuba, Ecuador, Colombia, Haiti, Venezuela, Dominican Republic, Peru, China and Russia.
The representatives said the restriction on dogs especially affects U.S. families that were overseas, adopted a dog and want to bring the pet back with them, as well as U.S. service members who want to bring their K9s home.
“Many Americans choose to adopt pets from overseas, saving them from grim lives in captivity or from painful deaths,” the letter said.