Canada’s Ban on Street Dogs From Over...

Canada’s Ban on Street Dogs From Over 100 Countries: Is It the Right Decision?

by Rochelle C. Pangilinan
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

Stories of animal rescues are always uplifting. Take for example the tale of one shelter dog named Ruby from Rhode Island back in 2011. Ruby is an Australian shepherd and border collie mix, which are two of the smartest dog breeds. However, it seemed that Ruby was too smart for her own good since she was dropped off at an animal shelter five times since the families who tried to adopt her ended up with all kinds of issues.

Because of this, Ruby was on the brink of being euthanized, but a shelter volunteer by the name of Patricia Inman remained hopeful. Thank goodness a state trooper, Daniel O’Neil, who had aspirations to be a part of the K-9 unit in the state police, took Ruby in. The pair spent years training, and eventually they applied and earned their spot.

In 2017, a boy in the area went missing during a hike, and a lot of people predicted the worst had happened. However, Daniel and Ruby worked together to find the missing boy, and Ruby eventually did. The boy apparently fell off a ravine and was unconscious but was alive. It turned out the missing boy was the son of Patricia, the shelter volunteer who always believed in the goodness of Ruby.

The above is merely one of the numerous heartwarming stories involving shelter pets. It was so inspiring it was turned into a Netflix movie. Unfortunately, now that Canada has implemented a ban on street dogs from over 100 countries, stories like the one above will surely diminish. Let’s delve deeper into this new policy.

Protecting the country from rabies

Street dogs in underdeveloped countries are in the most need of help from animal rescue dogs based in Canada. Since these countries already have a lot to deal with, whether it’s economic challenges or political conflicts, rescuing animals from the streets doesn’t exactly make it to the top list of priorities, and that’s understandable.

This is why animal rescue groups specifically target such countries and make an effort to help out animals in need, particularly those who have been neglected or abandoned in the streets. Unfortunately, as exposure to the outdoors for prolonged periods of time without the right amount of food and nutrients, coupled with insufficient medical attention, makes animals vulnerable to contracting diseases like rabies.

According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), rabies is a viral disease that goes directly into the central nervous system of mammals, including humans. Once rabies has taken effect and the affected has manifested symptoms, the disease has a 99 per cent fatality rate. The CFIA further said dog rabies kills 59,000 people every year in countries affected by the ban.

“The importation of even one rabid dog could result in transmission to Canadian humans, pets, and wildlife,” the CFIA further emphasizes.

This is the main rationale for announcing the ban for any commercial dogs entering Canada — dogs intended for resale, adoption, fostering, breeding, exhibition, and research — which started on September 28.

A ban is not necessarily the solution

A large number of dog rescue groups, however, feels that implementing a ban is jumping the gun since it is not the answer to the rabies problem.

Sam McElroy from Soi Dog Foundation hoped that the government would opt for making rabies titer tests (RTT) mandatory before entry, a common method in first-world countries.

In fact, the United States introduced the same ban in July 2021 but has since revised its policy. Now, with the recommendation of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), all dogs entering the U.S. territory must undergo the titer testing.

These tests are performed to determine if pets have been immunised against rabies as the test checks for the presence of the antibody that neutralises rabies in the pet’s blood. The presence of the antibody in sufficient amounts means that the pet has been vaccinated and is immune to rabies.

A titer test though doesn’t come without a price. Each test will cost about $100.

Rescuing street dogs is nothing unfamiliar for Canadians. However, with the ban, it will certainly be a thing of the past, and is the country ready for that?








Leave a comment!