Washington, DC — Today, fifty-five (55) Members of Congress joined a letter led by Congressman Ted Deutch (D-FL) and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky, calling on her to overturn the CDC ban on importation of dogs from 113 countries that was implemented in July.
“I am so proud of the work the committed advocates, adopted parents, animal lovers, and friends of the Bunny’s Buddies community did to advocate with their Members of Congress to get 55 of them to speak with one united voice on the importance of lifting this ban,” said Amanda Jo, founder of Bunny’s Buddies.
The lives of thousands of dogs at risk in foreign nations are in even greater jeopardy because of an overreaching action by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) to severely restrict imports of dogs from 113 countries based on a perceived threat of rabies. Bunny’s Buddies, Animal Wellness Action, and other animal welfare groups have been directly impacted because of the inability to import dogs into the country from countries such as China, where animals are destined to be killed or even eaten as meat if they are not allowed to travel to loving families in the United States.
This bipartisan letter was a follow-up to a recently passed FY 2022 Labor-HHS Appropriations Bill that included specific funding for the CDC to create a safe importation and tracking system and adequate testing for rabies for rescue animals in both the country of origin and the United States. Bunny’s Buddies is working with Animal Wellness Action and Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) to have similar language inserted into the Senate bill. CDC has continually stated that the COVID-19 public health crisis has diverted resources away from its ability to screen imported pets for rabies. This funding from Congress will grant the CDC specific resources to address the public health crisis and screen imported dogs.
Bunny’s Buddies is also working with Congressman Kurt Schrader (D-OR), a veterinarian, on legislation to reassign responsibility for health and welfare for imported animals from the CDC to the United States Department of Agriculture. This change will streamline the process and put animal health specialists in charge to avoid future blanket bans.
“The CDC is creating a false choice between protecting humans from covid-19 and protecting domestic dogs from rabies. We believe they can do both,” said Amanda Jo. “Congress continues to speak loud and clear that the CDC’s one-size-fits-all ban is separating loving families from their rescue animals and subjecting dogs to a certain death. Every day the CDC waits means another rescue dog is put to death. Bunny’s Buddies and our committed supporters and families of adopted rescue dogs thanks Congressman Deutch and Congressman Fitzpatrick for standing up to the CDC.”
A copy of the Deutch/Fitzpatrick letter is attached.
Bunny’s Buddies is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit dog rescue that focuses on saving dogs from slaughterhouses, kill shelters, and the streets of Asia. We are currently dealing with a massive pet overpopulation crisis in which people from all over the world are getting pets and failing their commitments to them, leaving these dogs at high risk for abuse, suffering, starvation, and death. Without human intervention, these animals have little to no help, so we work hard to extend our help to dogs in need. Our goal is always to get these animals the urgent help they so desperately require and eventually to get them to a point where a new home can be found. All of our homes must understand the trauma of these dogs’ pasts. We are grateful to have a community of like-minded animal lovers who simply want to see these betrayed animals get their happily-ever-after.