In September 2013, the USDA
redefined "pet stores" so that "direct to seller" venues
such as internet, phone, and mail order are now subject ot USDA regulation.
For a brief overview of the
new rule, please see USDA Final Rule FAQ (pdf). If you are interested, you
can also read the entire USDA Docket No. APHIS-2011-0003 (actual rule & process)
On 18 August 2014, the USDA closed another
"loophole" when new regulations for importation of foreign- bred
puppies for sale in the US were announced.
Previously, there was
little regulation of puppies coming into the country for sale from China,
eastern Europe, Russia, South America, Mexico, South Korea, and other parts of
the world. Very young puppies -- barely old enough to be weaned -- are
routinely shipped in tubs in the cargo bays of airplanes, and animal welfare
advocates estimate that 25% die before reaching the US. Many others are so sick
they cost their new owners thousands of dollars in vet bills and may die within
a few months anyway. We can only imagine the conditions in which the parents of
these puppies are kept.
new USDA rule states that puppies imported for sale within the US MUST be at
least 6 months old,and have the equivalent of a certificate of veterinary
inpsection stating that the pups are in good health and have been vaccinated
for rabies, distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parvovirus, and parainfluenza
virus (DHLPP) "at a frequency that provides continuous protection of the
dog from those diseases and is in accordance with currently accepted practices
as cited in veterinary medicine reference guides."
According to a
15 Aug 2014 USDA Press
Release, "The final rule applies to dogs imported into the continental
U.S., (including Alaska) and Hawaii, from other countries and from U.S.
territories to the continental U.S. This final rule applies to dogs intended
for resale. It does not apply to dogs that are imported for research purposes,
veterinary medical treatment, or for personal companions."
Because of the low demand
for pups over the age of 6 months, and the expense to the foreign breeders/
brokers for the required vaccinations and health certificates, we feel that the
new rule will effectively put a halt to the importation of foreign puppy mill
dogs for sale in the US.
9-CFR-2 goes into effect on 17 November 2014. You can read
the summary, background, and entire text of the new rule
here: Animal Welfare; Importation of Live Dogs.
15 Aug 2014 USDA Press Release
USDA Final Rule (Federal Register, 18 Aug