EDITORIAL – Federal ban on rescue-dog imports is nonsensical and inhumane


An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.


And, of course, we do. It’s as if it were the law. They’re part of the family. We take them for daily walks, teach them to “shake a paw,” spend ridiculous amounts of money on treats and vet bills, and always, always clean up after them when nature calls.

OK, not always, but humans would be miserable without their “fur babies.” We call them “the kids.” They compete for space with cats on Facebook. If we want some gushy comments, we post a photo of our new puppy.

When they don’t show up for dinner, we panic, and go straight to Kamloops Missing Pets or Kamloops and Area Lost and Found Pets, pleading for help.

And people offer best wishes and promise to keep a look out. And they do. When a “kid” shows up after days or weeks on the lam, it makes the news, like Genie the Boston Terrier, who showed up recently after going missing for six weeks.

Yes, we do love our dogs. That’s why Canadians are so unhappy with the upcoming ban on rescue dogs from a hundred countries — like Mexico, Egypt, Turkey and Ukraine — based on fear of canine rabies. According to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency, the move will “protect Canadians and their pets,” and will take effect on World Rabies Day, Sept. 28.

Dog rabies is a nasty form of the disease, but Canada has not a single active case. There was no consultation with rescue groups, and the agency has offered no data to justify the ban.

Canadian rescue-dog agencies take robust measures to make sure the dogs they bring to Canada are disease-free and healthy. Tighten up on health checks where necessary, sure, but

the blanket ban is a case of government over-reaction and over-reach. It will doom thousands of dogs who would normally have found a home here to death.

Quite simply, it’s nonsensical and inhumane.

I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.

Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at

About Mel Rothenburger (9647 Articles) is a forum about Kamloops and the world. It has more than one million views. Mel Rothenburger is the former Editor of The Daily News in Kamloops, B.C. (retiring in 2012), and past mayor of Kamloops (1999-2005). At he is the publisher, editor, news editor, city editor, reporter, webmaster, and just about anything else you can think of. He is grateful for the contributions of several local columnists. This blog doesn't require a subscription but gratefully accepts donations to help defray costs.

2 Comments on EDITORIAL – Federal ban on rescue-dog imports is nonsensical and inhumane

  1. Lots of dogs awaiting adoption in our local shelters. But mostly, focus on reaching out to your fellow humans. That will make humanity better.

  2. Kevin Cowan // August 16, 2022 at 6:23 AM // Reply

    I could not disagree more. But not because of rabies. Canadian shelters are packed with beautiful dogs looking for homes. Some languish in cages for months. Many have to be put down. If people want to “rescue” dogs, start there.
    We were in Cuba and were captivated by the dogs roaming the streets. We called one group los perros bandidos and our inclination was to help them. That inclination remains. But they were free to roam. To reproduce. To live their lives in the sun. Their “rescue” should not be the reason a dog here in Canada lives in stress and loneliness in a cage.
    Go to the SPCA. Spend 30 minutes. Your impulse to rescue will be as strong and you will have a friend for life.

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