Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Ban on Importing Dogs to Canada
We are alarmed by the recent announcement made by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) in Canada banning the importation of rescue dogs from countries such as Thailand.
The ban will come to effect on September 28, 2022. The CFIA announced that the decision was made due to the risk of rabies imposed by unvaccinated dogs who arrive into Canada from so-called high risk countries.
Read the full CFIA statement here.
Soi Dog Foundation (SDF) fully supports and appreciates the importance of implementing stringent disease control measures. However, with an unblemished 19-year track record of exporting healthy, rabies-free dogs to various countries worldwide including Canada, SDF finds a blanket ban on the import of adopted dogs to be unduly harsh on reputable organisations who are fully compliant with all country-specific import requirements.
Soi Dog is based in Phuket, one of the few certified rabies-free provinces in Thailand. All of our animals are fully vaccinated and free from disease.
Many Canadians are eager to adopt dogs that are suffering unthinkable cruelty and neglect, including thousands destined to be killed for the horrendous dog meat trade.
Our ability to save these dogs and place them in loving homes will be greatly diminished under this ban.
The CFIA makes no exemptions for rescues who are saving dogs from the horrors of war in countries such as Ukraine and Afghanistan. This blanket ban will condemn thousands of dogs to suffer in the street or die in the most horrific manner imagineable, rather than be saved and found loving homes with Canadian families.
Further to this, with far fewer rescued dogs available for adoption in Canada, we will see an increase in puppy mill 'production' in Canada. Many more Canadian dogs will be at risk of contracting diseases such as parvovirus and distemper due to the dire and inhumane conditions of puppy mills, and the lack of a proper vaccination schedule.
All rabies-free first world countries around the world, including the United States, United Kingdom, and countries in the European Union, require a valid rabies titer test (RTT) before permitting entry. Soi Dog Foundation obtains the RTT from an independent and internationally approved laboratory who analyse serum drawn from the travelling dog three months prior to the date of travel.
The RTT paperwork is then verified before travel and produced at any required point during the dogs' journey to its new home, most significantly at entry ports in the destination country.
This method is proven to be 100% effective in terms of disease control and can work in exactly the same way for animals who travel to Canada.
Soi Dog Foundation is therefore urging the CFIA to implement the rabies titer test method used by other countries to safeguard against importing infected dogs. This would be equally as effective in achieving the same goal as the proposed ban. The requirement for an animal to hold a valid rabies titer test showing successful immunisation against rabies from one of approximately a hundred internationally approved laboratories, followed by a short wait before the animal is approved entry, has proven 100% effective in countries where it is mandatory. The UK, for example, has been free from canine rabies for over a century.
How can you help?
There are several ways you can help us to advise the CFIA that there is an alternative solution which ensures that the rabies issue is addressed, but one that does not see innocent, healthy, and rabies-free dogs suffer from the implementation of an outright ban.
1 - Ask your veterinarian, who has provided medical assistance for your adopted soi dog, if he/she would be willing to offer feedback on Soi Dog's pre-adoption process, vetting steps and vaccination certification, and adoption support. Would he/she be willing to be contacted by us? If so, please let us know.
2 - Write your own email of concern to the CFIA. Use our easy-to-follow suggestions below of what to include and what not to include and send your email directly to the CFIA at firstname.lastname@example.org
3 - Write a letter of concern to the CFIA and send to;
Canadian Food Inspection Agency
c/o Complaints and Appeals Office
59 Camelot Dr., 59-1W-334
Dos and Don’ts when writing to the CFIA
Soi Dog is supportive of measures that prevent the spread of infectious diseases and wishes only to highlight to the CFIA the fact that steps can be put in place that achieve both the continued safety of Canadian citizens and native animals but continues to allow for the rescue and rehoming of healthy and fully vaccinated dogs.
It is worth considering that any approach to the CFIA should be done in a respectful, polite and professional manner.
With this in mind, we have put together a list of things to include and things to avoid when writing your letter.
- Highlight the successful revision of a near identical ban imposed by the CDC in the United States in July 2021 which, following a thorough review, now allows titer tested dogs to enter the country once again
- Mention your support of rescuing animals who have nowhere else to turn
- Show your support for the mission to end rabies
- Highlight the fact that there are other, less broad-ranging measures that can be taken such as the implementation of titer testing which will achieve the same goal
- Mention that Soi Dog is based in a rabies-free province and all of its dogs are fully vaccinated, independently verified, and pose no risk to public health
- Mention Soi Dog’s professional overseas adoption programme
- Ask for an outright lifting of the ban - we are merely seeking to revise so that legitimate and fully vaccinated dogs can be allowed into Canada
- Use inflammatory or derogatory language
- Use CAPS LOCK
- Make it personal. Your letter should be broadly addressed to the CFIA as an organisation
4 - Contact the CFIA complaints team by telephone on their toll-free number 1-800-442-2342 (8am-8pm ET)
5 - Contact your local member of parliament to register your objections.
6 - Compose your own Tweet to the CFIA and send to @InspectionCan or copy the message below and tweet them @InspectionCan
@InspectionCan Please reconsider the ban on dog imports from reputable international rescues. The ban will stop hundreds of healthy & fully vaccinated dogs finding loving homes in Canada from organisations like @soidogphuket
#CFIAdogban #reconsidertheban #endrabies #titertest
7 - Share our Facebook post here.