Another Day, Another Strain

Here’s another example of why NAIA has been working nonstop on the issue of irresponsible dog importation for nearly 20 years:

New Imported Distemper Strain in Dogs

This is not a long read, but to summarize: 12 week-old puppy (yes, 12 weeks!) was imported into North America from Korea by a rescue. The puppy showed signs of illness 12 days after arriving, grew sicker, and had to be euthanized. Tests indicate the imported pup had a new strain of distemper.

The excerpt below captures the dangers of irresponsible rescue importation (trafficking, if you don’t want to mince words), and its wanton disregard for the domestic dog population:

While we have been most concerned with the importation of canine influenza virus from Asia to North America by improper procedures by various “rescue” groups, the importation of CDV may be more significant in that CDV once it enters an ecosystem cannot be eradicated even with effective vaccines. Once again the North American dog population is being put at risk by those who have no regard for the importation of foreign animal diseases.

The threats to public, animal, and economic health that are posed by importing unscreened livestock into the country are generally understood. The fact that we have a reasonably strict screening process for importing livestock is evidence of this. Yet for the last two decades, rescues shipping in dogs from parts of the world that have not even gotten rabies under control has rarely elicited anything stronger than “but at least their hearts were in the right place” in response. Sadly, it seems to take incidents such as the canine flu, rabid puppies, and new (or reintroduced) diseases for the public to take notice, but awareness is spreading.