Sen. Grassley. (file photo)

It’s said a dog can be a man’s best friend, but a dog can also be a family’s worst enemy if they’re adopting an animal and don’t know about its origins and full medical history.

Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says he’s introducing a bill called the Healthy Dog Importation Act which aims to keep a closer eye on the million-plus dogs that are brought into the U.S. every year.

Grassley says, “This bipartisan bill is with Senator Tina Smith, a Democrat of Minnesota, providing the U.S.D.A. with new tools to monitor and safeguard the health of dogs being imported into the country.” Grassley says this kind of vigilance on biosecurity is important to maintain for Iowa’s livestock producers, and it’s equally important for potential pet owners.

“It may not seem like importation of dogs is a big thing,” Grassley says, “but more than one-and-two-tenths million dogs are imported each year from various foreign countries, many of which are at high risk of diseases like rabies.” He says more needs to be done at the federal level to shield our country’s residents from an array of infectious diseases that can be transmitted to people by canines.

“This bill also ensures that these dogs are up to date on their vaccinations and have a clean bill of health before arriving in our country,” Grassley says. “Animal health and public health go hand in hand.” The CDC has released a list of dozens of countries that are considered “high risk” for the importing of dogs.


Radio Iowa