Kenya Barred From Exporting Dogs To US

The suspension applies to all dogs that include puppies, emotional support dogs and dogs that travelled out of the United States and returning from high-risk countries.

Kenya Barred From Exporting Dogs To US

A United States (US) governmental agency issued a statement hitting Kenya with a temporary suspension beginning Monday, June 14 that will ban the entry of dogs from the country.

Kenya is among 113 countries that have been listed as high-risk regions by the US agency. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), its national public health agency, listed the country among high-risk countries for dog rabies.

The suspension applies to all dogs that include puppies, emotional support dogs and dogs that travelled out of the United States and returning from high-risk countries. It also includes dogs arriving from other countries if they have been in a high-risk country during the previous six months.

An airplane landing at an airport. /FILE

The statement added that people who wish to import the dogs must request advanced written approval from the CDC at least 30 business days before the date they intend to enter the country.

The agency further elaborates the consequences to take note of concerning the arrival of dogs without the agency's approval.

"Dogs that arrive from high-risk countries without advance written approval from CDC will be denied entry and returned to the country of departure at the importer’s expense." mentioned in the statement.

According to a National Center for Biotechnology Information publication titled A hundred years of rabies in Kenya and the strategy for eliminating dog-mediated rabies by 2030, the disease is estimated to cause 59,000 deaths annually with Kenya's first rabies case reported in a dog in 1912 and in a human in 1928.  

A veterinary medical officer at the CDC, Emily Pieracci, spoke to Reuters on June 14, stating how the number of dogs impacted the past year.

“There has been a significant increase in the number of dogs that are being imported and presenting falsified rabies vaccination certificates,” mentioned Pieracci.

She further elaborated that many dog vaccination programs around the world have been suspended or cancelled stating a rise in the number of canine rabies cases in Haiti and Peru as a result of dog vaccination cutbacks.

“Given the impact [the pandemic] has had on these vaccination programs around the world, we’re not really sure what our rabies landscape is going to look like in the future,” Pieracci commented.

Kenya joins the other 51 African countries listed with Egypt among the countries having received a notice from the agency issued on May 10, 2019. 

CDC urges nations not considered as high-risk to provide a rabies vaccine certificate despite not being a requirement to enter the country.

International departures at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA). /FILE