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New US travel rules coming for dogs

Under the new measures, a dog must be at least six months old at the time of entry or return to the United States (File photograph)

Pet owners will be required to abide by new border protection measures to reduce the risk of rabies-infected dogs entering the United States, effective August 1.

The Ministry of Home Affairs said the restrictions from the US Centres for Disease Control and Prevention will see dog owners required to register the animals with US Department of Agriculture-accredited veterinarians.

The move will allow “dogs normally residing in the USA to return from overseas more easily”.

The ministry said that previously, dogs entering Bermuda from the US did not require a USDA-accredited vet.

Measures for dog owners

In light of new measures to be implemented by the US CDC, the Government is advising dog owners to note the following:

•The dog must be at least six months old at the time of entry or return to the United States

•The dog must have a microchip that is International Organisation for Standardisation compatible

•The dog must appear to be healthy upon arrival

•The dog owner must have a receipt for submitting a CDC Dog Import Form. Available online, owners must complete this form and file it, along with a photograph of their dog, with the CDC ahead of travel

•The dog owner must also possess additional documentation, which will vary depending on the dog's travel history

It said: “This change creates an extra step for those US dogs destined to leave and return to the USA.”

Bermuda is ranked a low-risk jurisdiction, free of dog-carried rabies.

However, the measures affect dogs from all countries, including the island.

The change will not require any alterations in Bermuda legislation.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources is seeking further information on how the move would affect dogs travelling through the US, as well as travellers with cats.

For complete details of the requirements, dog owners are advised to visit the CDC’s animal importation guidelines online.

Guidance is online from the CDC’s “DogBot” tool.

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Published June 11, 2024 at 11:30 am (Updated June 17, 2024 at 4:14 pm)

New US travel rules coming for dogs

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