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Government Petition e-4122: Exempt Rescue Dogs from Canada’s Import Ban

Canada’s ban on dog rescue from some of the most vulnerable countries in the world is set to begin later this month.

A federal e-petition has now launched, calling on the government to work with affected dog rescues and animal rights advocates to ensure government policy on dog importations keeps Canadians safe, without increasing the number of animals in shelters or on the streets globally.

The official Parliamentary e-petition was started by Calgary resident Heather Hulkenberg, and authorized by Calgary Nose-Hill MP Michelle Rempel Garner. It can be signed by Canadian residents or citizens. With enough signatures, MP Rempel Garner will present the petition to the House of Commons and compel the government to address the issue with a response.

The new Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) policy prohibits the entry into Canada of “commercial dogs” from more than 100 countries, which includes rescued dogs destined for adoption and fostering. The ban comes into effect on September 28, 2022. Countless Canadian dog rescue organizations work in those countries to rescue thousands of dogs, organizing veterinary care, air transport to Canada, foster homes, and adoption opportunities. Dog rescue organizations weren’t consulted on the abrupt policy shift, and many fear it will force them to shut down, robbing countless dogs of a second chance at life.

The list of countries affected by the ban are those the CFIA considers to be high risk for dog rabies, which is preventable with appropriate vaccinations, and can also be addressed through testing, quarantine, and other measures. The new policy has no exemptions for rescues operating in war-torn countries like Ukraine and Afghanistan, or for disasters.

The United States Centers for Disease Control announced a similar, yet temporary policy that came into effect in July, 2021 in that country. But in June, 2022 the policy was changed and now dogs can again be imported from high-risk countries, with appropriate vaccinations, testing, and other public health measures.

Help Adoptable Dogs Come to Canada

Add your voice and call on the CFIA to amend the ban and exemptions for animal rescues or humanitarian efforts.