WHAT’S THE STORY ON VET CERTIFICATES WHEN SHOWING OUT OF STATE?
R ecently, an AKC reminder to show chairs about requirements for health certificates for out-of-state exhibitors at Missouri dog shows went viral—causing confusion, consternation, and even some chat about animal rights conspiracies in the state. Here’s some background, some information on states that require health certificates, and tips on how to stay compliant with the laws of the states you plan to travel in. While these laws can seem burdensome, keep in mind that we all share the same goal: Protecting the health of our dogs. This is especially impor- tant as the numbers of dogs imported into the U.S. continues to increase, sometimes bringing new diseases such as canine influenza with them. BACKGROUND Earlier this year, the Missouri Department of Agriculture became aware of a parvo outbreak at a non-AKC dog show. The department, which is charged with monitoring and working to protect animal health in the state, has become concerned about the potential for other similar outbreaks at large enclosed animal exhibitions. To educate and prevent future outbreaks, the department reached out to the AKC and to several clubs with upcoming shows to request that AKC and show-giving clubs remind show participants of long-standing state laws requiring dogs entering the state for exhibition to have a vet- erinary certificate issued within the previous 30 days, proof of rabies vac- cination, and be free of clinical signs of contagious or infectious disease. Further clarification has been provided to show chairs and exhibitors who contacted AKC: https://www.akc.org/clubs-delegates/government-rela- tions/toolbox /. In a meeting on this issue, Missouri Department of Agriculture offi- cials said to AKC that they see their role as educational and to protect animal health, and they are asking for our collective assistance to help pre- vent disease outbreaks. Department officials also noted that they do not have the resources to check every dog event in the state. Random checks of various events are more likely, and exhibitors should not be surprised if they are asked to provide health certificates at some point. AKC joins health and agriculture officials in urging all exhibitors to recognize the requirements for each state they exhibit in, and to have the appropriate health checks and documents to protect the health of their own dogs and the dogs in the exhibition community generally.
BY SHEILA GOFFE
“AKC joins health and agriculture officials in urging all exhibitors to recognize the requirements for each state they exhibit in, and to have the appropriate health checks and documents to protect the health of their own dogs and the
dogs in the exhibition community generally.”
106 | SHOWSIGHT MAGAZINE, APRIL 2023
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