First of all, let’s all look at those puppies there on the left. Don’t they look like they’re from a really adorable puppy version of The Shining? Maybe The Barking? Anyway, those puppies* are unrelated to this story: The United States Department of Agriculture has a new rule banning the importation of puppies that are too young or sickly to be coming into the country.
According to a press release from the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the prohibition on importing underage, sick dogs was included in the 2008 amendment to the Animal Welfare Act, but it hasn’t been enforced until now.
The rule says that all foreign breeders have to prove that each dog is in good health — though it’s unclear what body would oversee a certification, perhaps the USDA itself, or the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention? — and has had all the right shots and vaccinations. It also has to be at least six months old.