No Dogs Left Behind (NDLB), an international non-profit that rescues dogs from the illegal dog meat trade, commends a major accomplishment in the effort to overturn the recent rule imposed by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention that imposed a blanket ban on the importation of dogs from 113 countries.
In a letter sent to the Director of the CDC, 57 bipartisan Members of the U.S. House of Representatives expressed concern about the blanket ban that the CDC imposed on dogs coming from these countries.
The Congressional letter to the Director of the CDC specifically addresses dogs rescued from China, stating:
The CDC’s ban prevents thousands of dogs from 113 countries from being rescued and adopted into loving and safe homes. China is a country that fails to enforce laws against the consumption of dog meat and does little to halt particularly inhumane means of killing dogs at annual Yulin “dog meat” festivals. This dog abuse is one that has stirred many American humanitarians to work with charities that rescue. According to [the CDC], not a single dog originating from the People’s Republic of China, and imported into the U.S., has been diagnosed with rabies in the past decade.
The letter further states that the signing Members of Congress believe that dogs destined for American adoption can be safely imported by requiring confirmation of rabies vaccination by a licensed veterinarian in the country of origin, followed by rabies serology testing. Additionally, Congress believes that:
the CDC can and should establish a process that allows adoptions to resume. This process might include a country-by-country risk-based analysis, proof of rabies vaccination, pre-departure rabies serology testing, and development of a secure and fraud-resistant “pet passport."
NDLB saves dogs trapped in the illegal dog meat trafficking trade in East Asia. “We provide refuge in our sanctuaries in East Asia to over 500 dogs, each one individually saved from horrific conditions and destined for the most barbaric and torturous form of slaughter,” says Jeffrey Beri, Founder and President of NDLB. Of these 500 dogs, 120 have adopters waiting for them in the United States but are currently stuck in East Asia because of the CDC’s ban.
“The CDC ban directly impacts the work we do”, notes Beri. “If we cannot transport our dogs to their adopters in the United States, we cannot continue to save lives. The CDC is charged with following the science, and the science simply does not support a blanket prohibition on importing dogs from all of these countries.”
“We have been working with members of Congress, as well as other animal welfare organizations, groups and advocates, to address this ban since it was first announced,” says Jackie Finnegan, VP of NDLB and CEO of USA Operations. “We applaud the Members who signed on to this letter. Today is the culmination of everyone working together to help these innocent animals.”
This letter follows both the recently passed House appropriations amendment to provide the CDC with $3 million towards screening dogs for entry into the United States, and the introduction of the Healthy Dog Importation Act. These actions, taken together, show that Congress believes there is a more narrowly tailored solution for the CDC to respond to any legitimate concern about canine rabies than a wholesale ban on the importation of dogs around the world.
“There isn’t a more important time than now for all international animal rescues to stick together as we all fight in this mutual cause to help these dogs,” say Beri. “This is but one part in our fight for the enforcement of global animal welfare laws.”
About No Dogs Left Behind: No Dogs Left Behind operates boots on ground in East Asia, fighting on the frontlines to rescue dogs from the illegal dog meat trafficking trade. We work hands-on with local activists through emergency response, pulling dogs directly from slaughterhouses, dog meat trucks, wet markets and traffickers. Our mission extends beyond borders, advocating for the creation and enforcement of animal welfare laws and raising awareness for a cruelty-free, sustainable world in which no animal is violated, exploited, tortured or slaughtered for commercial goods or profit. With nearly 500 survivors in our care, No Dogs Left Behind operates sanctuaries in Dayi and Gongyi, China.