In order to prevent the inadvertent importation of the rabies virus, island nations such as Australia, New Zealand, England and Ireland have traditionally placed quarantine restrictions on warm-blooded animals capable of harboring this virus. Until last spring, there was a four-month quarantine on dogs arriving in the State of Hawaii for this same reason. But, on May 13th, Governor Benjamin Cayetano approved a plan to reduce the quarantine to 30 days. As reported in The Animal Policy Report, these changes followed a long campaign by the US Army and reflect the policies of Sweden and New Zealand. Australia and Great Britain are also modifying their restrictions.
The rules pertaining to Hawaii include rabies vaccinations which must be given six months apart, with the dog's arrival being at least three months after it receives the second vaccination. Also required are a health certificate; routine vaccinations; and in dogs over six months of age, a negative heartworm test. Upon arriving in Hawaii, the dog receives a microchip provided by the state. Following the 30-day quarantine, there is a 90-day home quarantine during which an inspector may verify the animal's health on a monthly basis.
As quarantine rules are relaxed, the implication for expanded canine gene pools world wide is immense.
ANTIC, December 1997
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