Notice to industry: New measure prohibiting the entry of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies

June 28, 2022

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing a new measure to protect Canadians and their pets, and to reduce the risk of introducing dog rabies (rabies caused by canine-variant viruses) into Canada.

As of September 28, 2022, World Rabies Day, commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies will no longer be permitted entry into Canada. Commercial dogs can include, but are not limited to dogs for resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition, research, and other purposes.

Canada does not currently have any active cases of dog rabies, a strain that is different than the rabies typically found in wildlife, such as skunks, foxes, raccoons and bats. However in 2021, dogs were imported into Canada with this disease. Following these events, the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and provincial public health authorities have asked the CFIA to take action to address the risks from imported dogs.

Rabies is over 99% fatal for humans and dogs once they start to show symptoms and is nearly 100% preventable with proper vaccination of animals. The importation of even 1 rabid dog could result in transmission to humans, pets, and wildlife. If a person is exposed, they need to undergo serious medical treatment.

Dog rabies kills 59,000 people every year globally in over 100 countries that are considered to be at high-risk for dog rabies.

Importing commercial dogs from these countries poses a serious public health risk to Canadians. The CFIA's new measure will help reduce the risk from imported commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies. Several other countries also have strict import conditions to reduce the risk of importing dogs infected with dog rabies and other diseases.

The CFIA continues to work with PHAC, Canada Border Services Agency and other federal government partners to implement this measure. The CFIA will explore options to further strengthen the requirements for the import of personal pet dogs and assistance dogs from these countries at high-risk for dog rabies.

Imports of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies

All currently issued import permits will remain valid until the end of the validity period specified on the permit, and the import conditions contained in the import permit would continue to apply.

All import permits issued on or after June 28, 2022 will expire on September 27, 2022, regardless of when the permit is issued.

As of September 28, 2022, import permits will no longer be issued.

All shipments of commercial dogs, regardless of age, from countries at high-risk for dog rabies will be prohibited as of September 28, 2022.

Additional information

Contact us

If you have a question about this notice please contact the CFIA online.