Connecticut May Relax Pet Import Rules For Shelters

A Connecticut state law regarding unregulated importation of dogs and cats may have parts repealed.

Connecticut may repeal parts of a state law that was enacted last year to address unregulated importation of dogs and cats into the state and related health and public safety concerns, according to the Washington, D.C.-based Pet Industry Joint Advisory Council.

Senate Bill 253, which is scheduled to be heard by the Joint Committee on Environment on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, would impact the state law that ensures dogs and cats brought into the state by rescues, humane organizations and other unlicensed entities to be sold or adopted receive a veterinary examination within 48 hours of import, PIJAC said.

While SB 253 retains the requirement for dogs and cats to be examined by a veterinarian, it eliminates the 48-hour window, PIJAC said.

By state law, commercial kennels, pet shops, grooming facilities and training facilities must be licensed by the agriculture commissioner. Also, licensed entities must have an animal’s health certificate prior to import.

Another provision of SB 253 allows the unlicensed organizations to avoid the requirement of a veterinary examination altogether by claiming the animal had already been adopted prior to entering the state, PIJAC said.

PIJAC supports the law, which was introduced as House Bill 5368, but opposes the senate bill because it believes all imported dogs and cats should be subject to proper examinations.

“Exempting non-pet store animals from this requirement threatens the public health and safety,” PIJAC said.

Prior to adoption of HB 5368, those importing dogs and cats into Connecticut for adoption were subject to no oversight. As a result, diseased animals were being brought into the state, placing the health of people and other pets at risk, PIJAC said.

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