Over the past two years, many people have hesitated or been unable to travel due to the risk of exposure to COVID. Recently, however, air traffic has picked up again, partly due to safer conditions through vaccinations and ongoing safety precautions on flights. But whether you’ve flown for a while or have recently taken a flight, you may want to brush up on what’s allowed and what’s not. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) just banned passengers from bringing a certain item onto airplanes, and the rule went into effect on October 14. Read on to find out what you are no longer allowed to take with you when flying.
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The CDC has banned dogs imported from countries at high risk of canine rabies. According to The New York Times, this ban applies not only to foreign dogs, but also to dogs traveling with American owners who are trying to re-enter the United States after traveling abroad. The ban is so severe that “the lockdown also includes dogs who have visited a high-risk country in the past six months, even if they come from a safe country,” the CDC warned.
The temporary suspension began on July 14th and went into full effect on October 14th, as certain government officials were allowed, by order of the authorities, to introduce dogs with a permit to any airport by that date. The CDC says it will “periodically review this suspension” but has not said whether or not it will lift the ban at any time in the future.
The ban affects 113 countries in the Americas and the Caribbean, Asia and the Middle East, Africa and Eastern Europe that are classified by the CDC as being at high risk for canine rabies. Popular destinations affected are Egypt, Brazil, Cuba, Russia, the Philippines, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
Before this ban, dogs from these countries could be admitted if they had the appropriate rabies vaccination documents, as the CDC estimates that 6 percent of all dogs imported into the United States come from countries at high risk for canine rabies. In 2020, however, the agency reported a significant increase in the number of dogs denied entry to the United States from high-risk countries. Between January and December 2020, there were “more than 450 cases of incomplete, inadequate or fraudulent rabies vaccination certificates for dogs entering from high-risk countries,” according to the CDC.
“Due to the reduced flight schedules, dogs who are denied entry have to expect longer waiting times to return to their country of departure, which in some cases leads to illness and even death,” said the CDC. And even if you are not traveling from one of the high-risk countries, the CDC still recommends “urgently a rabies vaccination certificate” if you are traveling to the US with a dog.
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Canine rabies has been eliminated in the US since 2007, according to the CDC. However, dogs from high risk countries who are inadequately vaccinated are not protected from rabies and pose a “public health hazard” to the country.
“Rabies is fatal in both humans and animals, and importing even a rabid dog could spread it to humans, pets and wildlife,” said the CDC, noting that rabies is 99 percent fatal. Since 2009, 25 human rabies cases have been reported in the US, resulting in 23 deaths.
The agency added, “This suspension will protect the health and safety of imported dogs by preventing the importation of dogs that are not adequately vaccinated against rabies and protect the health of the public from the reintroduction of canine rabies.”
However, this new ban is not without possible exceptions. From now until January 7th, dogs with CDC Dog Import Permits are allowed to enter the USA at one of the 18 major airports and then only at approved ports of entry, which are currently only Atlanta International Airport, John F. Kennedy International Airport, and the Los Angeles International Airport. Only certain people can apply for this permit, such as US government officials with permanent relocation or temporary service assignments, citizens moving permanently to the US, or owners of a service dog. And filing authorization does not guarantee that you will receive authorization, as the CDC has warned that it will be “very limited” on a case-by-case basis.
“Applications against denied permits cannot be challenged,” said the CDC. To submit an application, you must submit an application for a CDC Dog Important Permit to the appropriate email address at least 30 business days or six weeks prior to travel to the United States. “Warned the CDC.
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