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Forged Health Papers Are Big Business

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172 – April, 2021

By Amy Fernandez

There’s nothing new about dogs entering this country from Eastern Europe with questionable documentation. We’ve had rabies scares, among other things. But this is not a rabies-free country to start with. So, aside from a few fatal disease outbreaks, what’s the harm…right? NOT! But that’s another story.

They tend to take a less liberal view of this stuff over in Europe. As you might know, for over a century several countries–most notably Britain–imposed draconian quarantine laws which effectively stopped rabies at the border. The tradeoff was that importing live animals became incredibly difficult and costly but ultimately unnecessary when blood titer testing and effective vaccination schemes came into play. Those measures were codified into the Pet Passport program. It’s been the protocol for decades and if you’ve done it you know that it is far from easy or cheap. It still requires months of expensive, complicated testing and government approvals. But it permits live animal transport over national borders. So, all things considered, it’s a better system.

Increasingly, a lot of pet animal shipments come from Eastern Europe where dog breeding has become a thriving economic niche. There are plenty of happy buyers. However, there have also been plenty of issues with both health and lineage records that accompany some of these imports. No one bats an eye anymore when a purported purebred, registered puppy matures into something puzzling and obviously not quite the breed it is purported to be. That’s bad, but basically harmless; you pay your money and take your chance.

However, forged health records have posed a far bigger problem, mainly because most of these imports arrive as very young pups. More specifically, a lot of them have turned out to be far younger than the minimum age of 16 weeks that is legally mandated to verify their health documentation and ensure effective rabies vaccination protocols for international shipment.

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172 – April, 2021

Short URL: https://caninechronicle.com/?p=199494

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  • May 2021