New USDA rule: Imported dogs must be at least 6 months old, healthy


Regulations authorized in recent addition to Animal Welfare Act.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA's) Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has amended Animal Welfare Act regulations to require that dogs imported to the United States meet stronger health and safety standards “to protect Americans and Americans' pets,” according to an agency release. The new rule states that dogs imported for resale must be vaccinated and in good health and are required to be more than 6 months of age.

The new regulations are authorized under section 18 of the Animal Welfare Act, which Congress added in the 2008 farm bill. “This rule implements new requirements in the Animal Welfare Act to ensure dogs imported for resale are healthy and vaccinated,” says Kevin Shea, an administrator for APHIS. “This will help safeguard the imported dogs, the public, and our pets and other animals.”

The rule applies to dogs imported into the United States, including Alaska and Hawaii, from other countries and from U.S. territories. It applies to dogs intended for resale but does not affect dogs imported for research purposes, veterinary medical treatment or for personal companions.

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