This week, U.S. Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., and U.S. Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Penn., led more than 50 members of the U.S. House to urge the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) “to rescind its abrupt suspension of canine imports from 113 countries, effective on July 14th.”
“The CDC ban does not recognize the complexities of international dog rescue transport,” said Deutch. “We can protect public health while allowing rescue groups to continue their work. American families should be able to save animals from abroad, as long as we guarantee they do not carry any diseases that pose a threat to those families or to their other furry friends.”
“The ban on the importation of dogs into the United States from over 100 countries threatens the welfare of would-be adopted dogs who are subjected to horrific, inhumane conditions in foreign countries,” said Fitzpatrick. “If international pet rescue organizations are unable to resume their work, the future for the majority of these vulnerable and abandoned animals is grim. I am committed to working with my bipartisan colleagues and the CDC to find alternate solutions to safely and efficiently import rescue dogs into the United States so that they have a chance at a better life and an opportunity to find a forever home.”
U.S. Reps. Gus Bilirakis, R-Fla., Vern Buchanan, R-Fla., Charlie Crist, D-Fla., Carlos Gimenez, R-Fla., Al Lawson, D-Fla., Stephanie Murphy, D-Fla., Maria Elvira Salazar, R-Fla., Darren Soto, D-Fla., Michael Waltz, R-Fla., and Frederica Wilson, D-Fla., signed the letter.
Animal Wellness Action applauded the members for sending the letter.
“This strong bipartisan appeal for the CDC to rescind its policy to ban dog imports from 113 countries is just the latest indicator that Congress is fed up with the agency on this issue,” said Marty Irby, the executive director of Animal Wellness Action. “We applaud Reps. Fitzpatrick and Deutch and every member of Congress who joined in recognizing that our military heroes, diplomats, and other citizens overseas should not be forced to separate from their pets and break their bonds.”
“This decision, made without consultation with stakeholders, has caused chaos, financial hardship, and emotional turmoil for members of our military, foreign service, U.S. citizens, and charities,” said Jennifer Skiff, the director of international programs at Animal Wellness Action and the Center for a Humane Economy. “Those affected have spoken and Congress is now acting, for a second time. We thank them and request the CDC act expeditiously to get dogs home.”