Zoonoses Team, Division of Global Migration and Quarantine, National Center for Infectious Diseases, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA
The Division of Global Migration and Quarantine of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) of the United States Department of Health and Human Services has been delegated responsibility for preventing the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries into the United States and from one state or possession into another. Regulations for preventing the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases, including certain zoonotic diseases, are found in federal regulations at 42 CFR Part 71.
Current CDC foreign quarantine regulations contain specific information on the importation of the following species: dogs, cats, turtles and nonhuman primates. In addition, under 42 CFR 71.54, a person may not import into the United States, nor distribute after importation, any etiologic agent or any arthropod or other animal host or vector of human disease unless accompanied by a permit issued by the CDC Director. Under this authority, non-native species of bats only may be imported by obtaining a permit. CDC also currently prohibits the importation of African rodents, civets, and birds from certain areas in Southeast Asia. CDC’s regulatory authority also may be used to regulate the importation of other animals that may introduce, transmit, or spread communicable diseases to humans.
In situations where a public health risk is identified, as were the cases with monkeypox, severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS), and avian influenza, the CDC Director may take immediate action to prevent the introduction, transmission, or spread of communicable diseases, including prohibiting the importation of certain species of animals.