Support the Healthy Dog Importation Act and meet one of our field staff

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board of animal health

Animal Bytes

March 2023

Please support the Healthy Dog Importation Act


The federal Healthy Dog Importation Act is a bill to help prevent diseases (impacting both people and pets) from being introduced into the United States when dogs are imported.

One of the most concerning diseases is rabies, which is not controlled in more than 100 countries. According to the CDC, four rabid dogs have been imported into the U.S. since 2015. A single rabid dog can infect many other animals and people. Because of the unique risk rabies poses to humans and animals alike, the CDC recently extended the suspension for dogs imported from high-risk rabies countries through July 31, 2023. It also added new requirements on March 1, 2023 for all foreign-vaccinated dogs entering the U.S. from rabies high-risk countries, which must have a valid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record in addition to either a CDC Dog Import Permit or a reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility.

Rabies isn't the only concern though, dogs can carry bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Some diseases impacting people include:

  • Canine brucellosis
  • Salmonella infections
  • Campylobacteriosis
  • Parasites (fleas, ticks, screwworms, hookworms, etc.)
  • Leptospirosis

Dogs can also carry infectious diseases that can make livestock sick like Foot and Mouth Disease and African Swine Fever. Although these two examples don't infect dogs, they can still be spread via their fur, crates or bedding when imported.

The Healthy Dog Importation act was recently reintroduced in Congress to improve U.S. importation standards and stave off some of these disease risks. The bill provides more resources to the USDA and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure imported dogs are meeting vaccination and examination requirements before they enter the country. Federal agencies (USDA, CBP and CDC) and state animal health officials like the Board of Animal Health all share a role in regulating dog imports.

You can support the bill by either looking up your Senator or Representative and sending them a letter individually, or by adding your support to the American Veterinary Medical Association's push to pass this bill.

Keep reading...

Update your veterinary clinic information online!

New veterinarians on staff at your clinic? Accepting new species? Please let us know about these changes so we can serve you and your clients better.

Take two minutes to confirm current clinic info or add new details on our online form.

Stay updated on diseases we respond to in Minnesota

Did you know about your responsibility to report diseases to the Board of Animal Health?

MINN. STAT. § 35.06: A person who knows or reasonably suspects that a contagious or infectious disease exists in a domestic animal shall immediately notify the board.

MINN. R. 1721.0020 Subpart 7: A person who knows or reasonably suspects that an animal is infected with a disease listed on the board’s reportable animal diseases list must immediately report that knowledge or suspicion to the board.

While Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza (HPAI) might be the only disease you associate with the Board these days, there are many other disease cases we respond to in Minnesota. We have a page on our website dedicated to tracking our reportable disease responses each calendar year.

Don't forget USDA's Defend the Flock resources for poultry

The USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) has resources for all poultry growers about best practices in biosecurity. This comprehensive public education program provides resources to ensure all growers have the information they need to keep flocks safe from infectious diseases like HPAI.

Biosecurity, which encompasses structural and operating practices to block diseases and the pathogens that carry them, has proven to be the most effective way to protect the nation’s poultry, property, and people.

The Defend the Flock program includes checklists, videos, and other resources that reflect the knowledge, insights, and experience of USDA, veterinarians, poultry owners, growers, scientists, and other experts. All Defend the Flock materials are available at no charge 24/7 at the Defend the Flock Resource Center. For more information on the program, visit

Follow Defend the Flock on Facebook and Twitter for practical tips about keeping poultry healthy and new additions to the Resource Center.

Meet the Team: Chad Carlson

This month we launched another video in our "Meet the Team" series. Get to know Chad, one of our field staff from northern Minnesota.

Learn about Chad's background in this short video.

April Quarterly Board Meeting scheduled

The next quarterly meeting of the Board of Animal Health will be held Wednesday, April 12, 2023, both in person at the Minnesota Farmer’s Union (305 Roselawn Ave E, St. Paul, MN 55117, First Floor Conference Room) and on Microsoft Teams.

Visit our website to see the latest agenda and find virtual meeting details.