US tightens dog import rules over ASF fears

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has issued a Federal Order to prevent the entry or introduction of African swine fever (ASF) into the United States through the importation of live dogs for resale purposes from regions where ASF exists or is reasonably believed to exist.

The precaution is being taken following rising cases of ASF in the Dominican Republic and South Korea. The disease is capable of transmitting via dogs’ fur and bedding, and due to the severity of the disease, APHIS has taken precautions to protect the US swine population.

The Federal Order says that to comply with APHIS Veterinary Services’ ASF requirements, the shipment of dog(s) must be free of dirt, wood shavings, hay, straw, or any other organic/natural bedding material, and that all bedding accompanying imported dogs during transit must be properly disposed of at the US post-entry points.

Each imported dog must also have an ISO-compliant microchip implanted, and the individual microchip number must be verified immediately before each animal is bathed. And dogs must be bathed at the US post-entry point(s) of concentration within two calendar days of arrival in the United States, with bathing to be documented in the Veterinary Services Dog Import Record.

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