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Customs Notice 22-21: New Measure Prohibiting the Importation of all Commercial Dogs from Countries at High Risk for Dog Rabies


1. To prevent the introduction of canine rabies into Canada, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) is implementing a ban on all commercial dogs, imported from countries considered high-risk for rabies. This ban comes into effect until further notice, at all international airports. There will be no exceptions.

2. The CFIA is applying these restrictions in consultation with the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) and the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) based on the Health of Animals Act and the Health of Animals Regulations.

3. Rabies is a viral disease that attacks the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. It is fatal in both animals and humans and the importation of even one rabid dog could result in transmission to humans, pets and wildlife. Dogs are the main source of human rabies deaths, contributing up to 99% of all rabies transmissions to humans. The introduction of rabies caused by canine-variant viruses into Canada could have serious public and animal health impacts.

4. These measures are being implemented to protect Canadians and their pets and to reduce the risk of dog rabies entering Canada. They align with the United States’ Temporary Suspension of Dogs Entering the United States from High-Risk Rabies Countries and are necessary following the CFIA confirmed detection of rabies caused by canine-variant viruses (that was not present in Canada) in two imported dogs from a high risk country in June and July of 2021.

5. Commercial dogs are dogs that are intended to be transferred/given to another person or intended for commercial purposes such as reproduction, breeding or sale of offspring, showing/exhibition, sale of germplasm, sale of the dog itself, rescue dogs, scientific use/research or special training status (regardless of whether a profit is made or a transfer of funds occurs).

6. Importers or the person in possession, care or control are responsible for all costs associated with the storage and removal of inadmissible goods to Canada.

7. For further information please see the CFIA’s Notice to industry: New measure prohibiting the entry of commercial dogs from countries at high-risk for dog rabies - Canadian Food Inspection Agency (

8. If you have questions or need assistance about this ban please contact CFIA Online.

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