A new Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) policy that bans the entry of canines from more than 100 nations is hitting close to home for a local dog rescue.
“Fifty per cent of our dogs that we intake every month come from international countries” explains Amanda Thomson with BARCS Rescue in Cremona. “We have about 15 dogs that come in a month that are from outside of North America, lots from countries that are affected by this ban such as India, Jordan, Armenia, and Kuwait, just to name a few.”
Beginning on September 28, 2022, The CFIA declared it would forbid the entry of commercial canines from nations it deems to be at high risk for canine rabies.
Commercial canines are defined as dogs used for sales, adoption, fostering, breeding, show or exhibition, research, or other purposes. The agency claims the prohibition is required to reduce the danger of rabies entering Canada. It does not apply to people moving to Canada with their pets.
“I have been part of the rescue for going on three years. Within BARCS, I have never come across any dog that has rabies.”
Thomson believes a blanket ban on this many counties makes no sense.
“One of our biggest partners, Soi Dog Foundation, is the largest dog rescue in Southeast Asia based in Phuket. The island of Phuket is entirely rabies-free. It is unfortunate that with the blanket ban it is affecting rescues that it really shouldn't because they have no issues and their dogs aren't affected by these issues.”
Up until the September cut-off date, BARCS has no plans of slowing down.
“Unfortunately, it comes to the point where now we have to try to bring in as many dogs as we can before September, but then that means we are not able to help our other rescues like in the United States and in Mexico because we're trying to focus on outside North America.”
“There's a lot of ways to help. If you head over to our website or our Facebook page, we've got lots of letters and things like that set up that you can send to Parliament or local politicians to help bring awareness to this. There is a petition going around and lots of social media hashtags that we're trying to implement.”