Apr 15, 2015 - Animal Policy    2 Comments

Asian Canine Influenza Outbreak: A Reminder of the Importance of Responsible Animal Transport

An outbreak of canine influenza* in the Chicago area has killed six dogs and sickened 1,300. It comes from a strain of the virus that has previously only been seen in Korea and China.

We do not yet know the specific source or the scenario that led to this outbreak, but regardless, it is a painful reminder of the importance of responsible animal transport (especially in regards to importation), and why we support it so strongly at NAIA.

Of course there are no guarantees in life, no way to ensure that your pet will never come down with an illness, but employing responsibility and accountability when transporting animals — something that is, unfortunately, not always standard operating procedure — is a great way to improve those odds for everybody’s pets.

Our hearts go out to the families who lost pets due to this illness, and we wish a speedy recovery to all who were affected!



*while this is referred to as “Asian Dog Flu” it can affect cats too!

  • laurelladesborough

    Quite frankly, IMO this is most likely an excellent example of irresponsible actions taken by dog rescuers who are importing dogs from other countries. We saw with the importation of street dogs from Puerto Rico that there were resulting instances of rabies in some of those dogs. Now with this Asian Dog Flu…we can see that this dog flu did not appear magically from the skies, but most likely was introduced by one or more dogs from Asia. If I were to decide to import a bird from any country in the world, that bird would be required to go into government approved quarantine for a month and be tested for various avian diseases prior to being allowed to exit quarantine. IF that bird tested positive for certain diseases, it would be euthanized! Consider that imported birds are going into cages. They do not run around in yards. They do not interact with neighboring birds or wild birds. However, in the case of these imported dogs, they DO interact with neighboring dogs and can also interact with wild animals. IMO this is extreme irresponsibility on the part of those importing the dogs and a serious lack of federal oversight on potential importation of diseases! Having a veterinarian to check a dog is one thing, but unless that dog is quarantined for a period of time, there will be no way to know whether or not that dog is carrying an undiagnosed virus or other disease, whether bacterial, fungal or parasites. This irresponsible action is a threat to our domestic animals and to our native wildlilfe.

    • Esoterical

      There are Ag & Mkts laws that need to be adhered to concerning importation of dogs and cats. Several rescues in NY collaborated to save dogs from the dog meat trade, yet no disease has been reported in NY and is in heavily congested Chicago. These dogs go into immediate veterinary care upon arrival. Are you suggesting that they are all Typhoid Marys? It’s a flu, not a death sentence. Six dogs of unreported health and age have succumbed to an upper respiratory illness that has infected supposedly 1000’s.

      Please refer to unbiased and knowledgeable sources for your information rather than media hysteria and hype. Cornell has just published one such update article. I suggest it be read.