UAE denies report stating country at high risk for dog rabies

In the statement, ministry further urges residents and the public to seek information from official sources only and to refrain from spreading rumours


SM Ayaz Zakir

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Published: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 3:01 PM

Last updated: Thu 27 Apr 2023, 3:23 PM

A UAE ministry has denied reports that suggest the country is at high risk of rabies.

In a statement exclusively issued to Khaleej Times, the Ministry of Health and Prevention (MoHAP) has confirmed that the UAE has been completely free of any cases of rabies since the “early 1990s”.

The US-based Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had added the UAE to a list of 110 countries it identifies as being ‘high-risk’ for dog rabies.

However, the MoHAP said it has a “successful integration of preventive measures with the animal health sector.” It also credited its rabies-free status to its “proactive preparedness and response to all health risks.”

In the UAE, it is mandatory for all dogs to be registered and vaccinated routinely. They must have a microchip and up-to-date vaccinations. The country has a very effective vaccination programme for dogs and other animals, helping keep pet-related diseases very low.

According to the UAE Statistical Annual Report 2020 issued by the MoHAP, the incidence of rabies in the country is zero.

In the statement, the ministry further urged residents and the public to seek information from official sources only and to refrain from spreading rumours. It also urged people to keep up to date with the latest developments and instructions recommended by the health authorities.

According to the CDC, all foreign-vaccinated dogs entering the US from rabies high-risk countries must have either a CDC Dog Import Permit or a reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility. Beginning March 1, 2023, a valid CDC Rabies Vaccination and Microchip Record is needed to obtain a permit or make a reservation. “CDC will NOT accept foreign-issued pet passports or any other certificates for foreign rabies vaccinations.”

For dogs being brought from countries that are not listed as high-risk, the CDC strongly recommended vaccination against rabies. The additional requirements listed above don’t apply.


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