Hello to all you Golden Retriever lovers.
In our last edition of the Guardian, we shared information around the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) ban on international dog rescue and our community’s effort to amend the ban to allow for international rescue to continue with a series of protocols to be adhered to. The hard work of our dedicated team of volunteers and your unwavering support throughout this process have resulted in several important updates that we’d like to share with you.
The first is that we have now met with the CFIA twice in its Stakeholder Engagement Sessions where we have addressed the ban and the potential amendments that may be implemented. It is important to note that we are one of only a handful of rescue organizations consulted in this process. While the outcome of these meetings has not yet resulted in any concrete change, we have been sent a confidential draft of an Import Policy that outlines the initial requirements for the import of personal pet and assistance dogs from countries at high-risk for canine-variant rabies, as outlined by the CFIA. We are in the process of reviewing the Import Policy and will be providing feedback in the coming days.
The second update is that we have been instrumental forming the Canadian Coalition of International Rescues with other likeminded organizations. Earlier this month, we submitted a letter to the Executive Director, Animal Health Director of the CFIA, Dr. Ireland, outlining our joint concerns.
While the progress may not be as rapid as we would like, we are optimistic about these developments. Our priority now is to keep the CFIA accountable to consulting our community throughout this process and imposing pressure to move quickly on the revisions as we know that every day that passes without an amended ban is another day that Goldens around the world are suffering and dying.
Thank you for your ongoing support through this challenging time. We will continue to keep you updated as we learn more.
Puppy mills in Canada
Golden Rescue continues to advocate for an amendment to the CFIA ban; however, we also are trying to address issues closer to home ~ puppy mills. Below is an email that we sent to the CFIA, Santé Canada/Health Canada, and numerous MPs who are sympathetic to what we are hoping to accomplish.
On behalf of Golden Rescue, I wanted to share with you a recent article in the Toronto Star about the rise of inhumane puppy mills that exist throughout our country.
As you know, Golden Rescue has been working alongside a number of other rescue organizations to amend the Canadian Food Inspection Agency’s (CFIA) ban on the import of rescue dogs, which has resulted in the torture and death of thousands of innocent animals around the globe.
Meanwhile, according to the report by the Toronto Star, “puppy mills are not banned by any provincial government. There are about 2,000 puppy mills across Canada, with the majority of mills in Ontario and Quebec.” The lack of regulation around these mills is deeply concerning and it is unfortunate that the government has prioritized the abrupt and miscalculated halt of the work of international rescue organizations instead of working on the clearer and more direct challenges with puppy mills here in Canada.
We feel our request to amend the ban is not unreasonable as Golden Rescue is proud to have rescued over 2,000 Golden Retrievers without a single case of rabies. Further, a number of discussions with the CFIA about our process and proposed amendments to the ban have been both positive and encouraging, and we feel confident that we can follow our U.S. counterparts and build an amended system that allows for the safe rescue of animals.
The challenge, however, is the lack of urgency around implementing these changes. We firmly believe that we must work quickly on this to accomplish two things:
- To allow rescue groups to help save the lives of suffering animals by allowing for a responsible and measured approach to rehoming these animals.
- To lessen the reliance on puppy mills by enabling rescue organizations to rehome dogs which will, in turn, discourage online purchases from puppy mills.
Golden Rescue continues its willingness to support the CFIA in developing amendments that will allow for the safe rescue and rehoming of dogs and emphasizes the importance of moving forward quickly to minimize the devastation to animals around the world.