CDC Face Backlash After 130 Shelter Dogs Left Behind Amid US Evacuation from Kabul
America's exit from Afghanistan has been one of the most divisive moments of the Biden administration. Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is under fire from the Kabul Small Animal Rescue and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals over regulations that prevented 130 dogs from being evacuated from Kabul.
The Kabul Small Animal Rescue (KSAR), a Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPAC) international partner, is blaming the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) regulations for 130 dogs being left at Kabul airport, amid the United States’ withdrawal from Afghanistan.
In July 2021, the CDC temporarily suspended the import of dogs
from high-risk countries for rabies, with Afghanistan being one of the counties included. While the new regulation does not bar all dogs from high risk-risk countries from entering the United States, it does require a CDC Dog Import Permit
, which is only available to dogs of US employees, US citizens and residents, service dogs, and dogs imported for science, education, exhibition, or law enforcement.
According to CDC guidelines, the 130 dogs in the care of KSAR had little to no chance of being granted access to the United States.
Rumors that US working dogs were left behind were quickly rebuffed by John Kirby, the Pentagon’s press secretary.
America’s withdrawal from Afghanistan has not been viewed favorably by the public. According to PEW research, 21% of Americans rated the handling of the situation in Afghanistan as good, and only 6% rated it as excellent.
In the grand scheme of things, 130 shelter dogs being left behind in Kabul should hardly matter when 122,300 people were successfully evacuated. However, the Biden administration and the CDC making an exception to try and get 130 shelter dogs out of Kabul could have spared them the backlash.