Rescue Dog Ban Petition Presented to Parliament

A petition calling for an end to the heartless ban on most international dog rescue was just presented to Parliament! On February 3, MP Michelle Rempel Garner presented the petition, which calls 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.

A new Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) policy went into effect last year, that bans the entry into Canada of “commercial dogs” from more than 100 countries, which includes rescued dogs destined for adoption and fostering. Countless Canadian dog rescue organizations work in those countries to rescue vulnerable 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 have already had to shut down operations, leaving dogs with few options. Shockingly, there are no exemptions even for rescues operating in war-torn countries like Ukraine and Afghanistan, or for disasters, like the earthquake in Turkey and Syria.

The list of countries affected by the ban are those the CFIA considers to be high risk for dog rabies. The government has said the ban is necessary to prevent the spread of dog rabies, even though no other Western countries have a similar ban and instead have adopted science-based rabies prevention measures like vaccinations, antibody tests, and quarantine.

Next Steps

Petition e-4122 was presented to Parliament with 20,630 verified signatures, and the government now has 45 days to table an official response. 

During this crucial time, you can continue to add your support to the campaign. Use our online form to send a message to your Member of Parliament, calling on them to allow adoptable rescued animals into Canada with appropriate safety measures.

In addition to supporting the petition in the House of Commons, Animal Justice and Soi Dog Canada are challenging the federal government in court over the new policy. We’re arguing in Federal Court that the CFIA decision to ban most international dog rescue is unlawful because it is unreasonable, and because the Agency acted unfairly in failing to consult with directly impacted stakeholders. Join Animal Justice’s email list, and we will keep you informed as the case progresses.