Rabies remains one of the most transmissible viruses between people and animals, resulting in 59,000 deaths each year around the world. A person who is bitten by a dog that is starting to show symptoms would be often at risk of death. The CDC noted that there was a decrease in dog vaccinations in the past year around the world due to the Covid-19 crisis. Countries like Haiti and Peru reported a rise in cases due to cutbacks.
The CDC estimates that around 1.06 million dogs are imported into the United States every year and around 100,000 of these would be affected by the prohibition. Several animal experts welcome the decision but others expressed concern that it would penalize responsible pet owners who want to adopt rescued dogs from overseas.
Meredith Ayan, Executive Director of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) International, said ” It will cause a large number of healthy animals living abroad to be surrendered and potentially euthanized if they can’t travel to the US to their adoptive owners”.
She added that the US already has strict quarantine and rabies vaccination program in place that proves highly effective for many years. Further enforcement is what they encourage the CDC to keep doing.