07 ANPRM - Animal Importation - AVMA Comment

07 ANPRM - Animal Importation - AVMA Comment

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American Veterinary Medical AssociationA V M A®November 30, 20071931 N. Meacham Rd.U.S. Department of Health and Human ServicesSuite 100Centers for Disease Control and PreventionSchaumburg, ILDivision of Global Migration and Quarantine60173-4360 ATTN: Animal Importation Regulations1600 Clifton Road, NE., (E03), Atlanta, GA 30333phone 847.925.8070800.248.2862 Re: Docket [RIN 0920-AA03] Foreign Quarantine Regulations, Proposed Revision offax 847.925.1329 HHS/CDC Animal – Importation Regulationswww.avma.orgDear Sir/ Madam:The AVMA is pleased to provide comments on this ANPRM. The AVMA recognizes therisks that importation of animals can present to human, animal and ecosystem health, as wellas to the welfare of the imported animals. These risks are increased by many characteristicsof the today’s world, such as newly emerging or re-emerging diseases, increasing animal-human-environmental interfaces, globalization of commerce (including animals), andinternational transportation efficiencies that can result in movement of an animal from originto destination while carrying or incubating a high-risk disease. The AVMA has expertise andresources to assist with the proposed rulemaking process, including specific councils andcommittees, and also has a number of established policies on relevant issues (referenced atthe end of this letter). The AVMA advocated for, and participated in, the May 2006 meetingin Atlanta that began addressing importation and national ...

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AMVA®

1931N.MeachamRd.
Suite100
Schaumburg,IL
60173-4360
phone847.925.8070
800.248.2862
fax847.925.1329
www.avma.org

AmericanVeterinaryMedicalAssociation

November30,2007
U.S.DepartmentofHealthandHumanServices
CentersforDiseaseControlandPrevention
DivisionofGlobalMigrationandQuarantine
ATTN:AnimalImportationRegulations
1600CliftonRoad,NE.,(E03),Atlanta,GA30333
Re:Docket[RIN0920-AA03]ForeignQuarantineRegulations,ProposedRevisionof
HHS/CDCAnimalImportationRegulations
DearSir/Madam:
TheAVMAispleasedtoprovidecommentsonthisANPRM.TheAVMArecognizesthe
risksthatimportationofanimalscanpresenttohuman,animalandecosystemhealth,aswell
astothewelfareoftheimportedanimals.Theserisksareincreasedbymanycharacteristics
ofthetodaysworld,suchasnewlyemergingorre-emergingdiseases,increasinganimal-
human-environmentalinterfaces,globalizationofcommerce(includinganimals),and
internationaltransportationefficienciesthatcanresultinmovementofananimalfromorigin
todestinationwhilecarryingorincubatingahigh-riskdisease.TheAVMAhasexpertiseand
resourcestoassistwiththeproposedrulemakingprocess,includingspecificcouncilsand
committees,andalsohasanumberofestablishedpoliciesonrelevantissues(referencedat
theendofthisletter).TheAVMAadvocatedfor,andparticipatedin,theMay2006meeting
inAtlantathatbeganaddressingimportationandnationaltradeforexoticanimals(
reference:
2005PS
),andtheAVMAalsohasalongstandingroleinsettingpolicyforimportationof
domesticanimals.TheAVMAapplaudsCDCforproposingtherevisionofanimal
importationregulationspertinenttopublichealth,butwealsocontinuetorecommenda
comprehensiveandcoordinatedapproachacrossallrelevantfederalagencies.
AVMABackground

Establishedin1863,itisthelargestveterinarymedicalassociationintheworld

Representsmorethan75,000members;approximately86%oftheactive
veterinariansintheUnitedStates

Mission:ImprovingAnimalandHumanHealth;AdvancingtheVeterinaryMedical
Profession

Establishedtoadvancethescienceandartofveterinarymedicine,includingits
relationshiptopublichealth,biologicalscience,andagriculture

Therecognizedvoiceoftheveterinaryprofession
Veterinarianshavecriticalrolesinanimalhealthandwelfare(bothdomesticandnon-
domesticanimals),publichealth,foodsystems,andenvironmentalandecosystemhealth.

Dog,Cat,andFerretRegulations

TheAVMArecommendsthatCDCundertaketheproposedrevisiontotheseregulations,includingcoverageof
domesticatedferrets.TheAVMAhasaModelRabiesControlOrdinanceandparticipatesontheNASPHV
committeethatproducestheannualCompendiumofAnimalRabiesPreventionandControlthosedocuments
addressanumberoftherabies-relatedquestionsintheANPRM.Forexample,dogs,cats,andferretsshouldbe
vaccinatedattheappropriateagesunderdirectsupervisionofalicensedveterinarianandusingUnitedStates
DepartmentofAgricultureapprovedrabiesbiologicsasdescribedintheCompendiumofAnimalRabies
PreventionandControl.Thisshouldbecompletedatleast90dayspriortoimportationforanimalsreceiving
theirfirstrabiesvaccination,whichwilldeterminetheminimumageforimportationaccordingtotheproduct
label,andshouldbedocumentedwithavaccinationcertificatesignedbytheveterinarian(oraspartofahealth
certificate).Serologictestingisnotnecessary,butcouldbeusefulinsituationswhereauthenticityofvaccination
certificationisuncertain.(Note:Serologictestingdoesnotprovideevidenceofimmunity,asstatedinthe
ANPRMitonlyprovidesevidenceofpriorimmunization.)Lastly,sincecaninerabiesvariantshaverecently
beeneliminatedfromtheU.S.,themovementofdogsforthepurposesofadoptionorsalefromareaswithdog-
to-dograbiestransmissionshouldbeprohibited.

TheAVMAModelRabiesControlOrdinancealsospecifiesthatalltravelingdogs,cats,andferretsmusthave
proofofacurrentrabiesvaccination.GiventheavailabilityofsuchanimalsintheU.S.,itseemsunlikelythatan
exemptiontorabies-relatedrequirementswouldbeneededtoimportnon-immunizedanimalsforresearch.
However,ifsuchanimportwererequested,theburdenofproofthattheneededanimalscouldnotbeobtained
intheU.S.,thattheresearchmusthavenon-immunizedanimals,thattheanimalscanbeproperlyconfinedata
USDA-approvedresearchfacility,andthattheyarenotlaterdistributedelsewhereshouldbequitehigh.

TheAVMAsupportstheuseofappropriatesurveillanceandcontrolmeasures,includinginspection,toprevent
theentryofforeigndiseasevectorsandinvasivespeciesintotheUnitedStates,includinginspection(
ref:Controlof
ForeignDiseaseVectorsandInvasiveSpeciespolicy
).Avalidinternationalhealthcertificate,includingestimatedageand
signedbyalicensedveterinarianinthesourcecountry,shouldberequiredforentryintotheU.S.Theprimary
purposesofthisinspectionandcertificateshouldbetoassurethatthereisnoevidenceonexaminationthatthe
animalhasadiseasethatcouldbecommunicabletohumansorotheranimals,andtoassurethattheanimalisin
aconditionsuitablefortheanticipatedtravel.Whileinspection/examinationbeforeandafterimportation
cannotassurethatananimalisnotcarryingorincubatingacommunicabledisease,denialoftransittovisiblyill
animalswouldreducetheriskconsiderablyandimproveanimalwelfareincomparisontonoinspection.Such
certificatesshouldbedifficulttofalsify.Foranimalstobeimportedfromaregionwithspecificdiseasesof
concern,availablescreeningtestsmaybeappropriatetoincludeaspartoftherequiredinspectionandhealth
certificate.Ifpossible,theregulationsshouldbeflexibleenoughtoallowformodificationofrequiredtestingby
theappropriateauthoritybasedontestingtechnologyandchangingdiseaseprevalence.Ifitistheonlywayto
conductappropriateinspectionuponarrival(i.e.,verifytheconsiderationsnotedaboveandtheunique
identificationnotedbelow),HHS/CDCshouldrestricttheimportationofdogs,cats,andferretstoonlythose
portsofentrystaffedbyHHS/CDCpersonnel.

Wherecircumstanceswarrantit(considerationsincludelengthoftravel,countries/regionsvisited,activitieswhile
abroad,etc.),exemptionsto,orrelaxationof,someoftheoverseasinspectionrequirementscouldbeprovided
fordogs,cats,andferretsthatarereturningtotheU.S.aftertravelabroadwiththeirowners.Suchanimals
shouldhavedocumentationofitinerary,evidenceofcurrentrabiesvaccination,apre-travelexamintheU.S.,and
uniqueidentification.Ifthesedocumentscanbeverifiedandavisualinspectionconducteduponreturntothe
U.S.,theportofentryneednotbelimitedtoHHS/CDC-staffedquarantinestations.

Auniqueidentifierforalldogs,cats,andferretsimportedintotheU.S.shouldberequiredtoaccuratelyidentify
animalsfortravel,toreducefraudulentclaimspriortoimportation,andtofacilitatetrackingafterimportation
shouldthatbeneeded(e.g.,publichealthinvestigations).Methodsotherthanelectronic(microchip)
identificationarenotaseffective.TheAVMAspolicyonelectronicidentificationprovidesconsiderable

descriptionofthekeyelements,includingAVMA-recommendedstandards(e.g.,ISOcompliant),database
operationandmaintenance,andoperatingprocedures.

Thecostsandbusinessimpactsofsuchregulatorychangesforimportersofdogs,cats,andferretsareoutsidethe
scopeofAVMAsexpertise,asisthepotentialforablackmarket,sonospecificcommentsareprovided.In
general,coststoprotectpublichealth(andanimalhealthandwelfare)areapartofdoingbusiness,andwouldbe
expectedtobepassedontocustomers.ThemeasuresconsideredbytheANPRMcouldresultinsomesavings
totheimportersthatwouldoffsetsomeofthecosts(healthierandolderanimalswouldpresumablyresultin
decreasedtransit-relatedlosses/costs).

Norequirements,shortofeliminatingimportation,caneliminatetheriskofimportingcommunicablediseases.
However,areasonablecombinationofvaccination,age,inspection,certificationandidentificationrequirements
cangreatlyreducetherisk.

OtherAnimalRegulations(IncludingAfricanRodentsCurrentlyRegulatedUnder42CFR71.56)

TheAVMArecommendsthatCDCundertaketheproposedrevisiontotheseregulationsinordertobetterand
proactivelypreventtheimportationofanimalsthatpresentarisktohumanhealth,domesticanimalhealth,wild
animalhealthorecosystemhealth(intheU.S.orinthesourcecountry).Forthesereasons,andtosafeguard
animalwelfare,theAVMArequestedandparticipatedintheMay2006meeting(mentionedabove)addressing
manyaspectsoftheexoticanimaltrade.Theoverridingneedisforacomprehensiveandcoordinatedmulti-
agencyapproach,butCDCsproposedrevisionstoregulationsunderHHS/CDCauthoritywillbeauseful
component.TheimportanceofthistotheAVMAisreflectedinthemajorityoftheAVMApolicieslistedatthe
endofthisletter.ThisexcerptfromthePrivateOwnershipofWildAnimalspolicyisausefulsummaryof
theAVMAsperspective:

Exceptunderspecialcircumstances(suchasrecognizedconservationandresearchprograms),theAVMA
especiallysupportsregulatoryeffortstoprohibitprivateownership,andtheimportationforthepurposeofprivate
ownership,ofnon-nativeanimalsthatthreatenpublichealth,domesticanimalhealth,indigenouswildanimal
health,agriculture,ortheecosystem,aswellasthosespecieswhosewelfareisunacceptablycompromised.

Inaddition,theAVMAsupportstheNationalResearchCouncilsrecommendationsinthe2005
AnimalHealthattheCrossroadsreport,includingRecommendation7regardingimportation,sale
andtransportofexotic,non-domesticatedandwild-caughtanimals.

TheAVMArecognizesthedifficultyinestablishingacompletelistofspeciesorcategoriesofhigh-riskanimals
towhichimportrestrictionswouldapply.Establishingalistofalldiseasesofriskissimilarlydifficult.The
AVMApoliciesmaygivesomeexamplesofknowndiseasesandanimalsofrisk(e.g.,ImportationandInterstate
MovementofExoticandNativeWildlifepolicy),butmostAVMApoliciesaddressingthisissuefocuson
processestoeliminateorminimizerisk(whereareasonableprobabilityofriskexists).Ifalististobepursued,
ratherthanalistofrestrictedspecies,asimplerandsaferapproachwouldbetodevelopalistofacceptable
species(andpossiblyspecificsourceregions)basedonexistingevidencethattheyposenoorverylowrisk.By
onlypermittingimportationofspecieswithaknowntrackrecord,aninherentlyreactiveapproachthatcan
neveranticipateemergingdiseasesornewreservoirs/vectors(ashappenedwithmonkeypox)becomesproactive.
TheAVMAstandsreadytoassistinthedevelopmentofsuchalistasneeded.Focusingonprocessesintended
toidentifyandcontaindiseaseproblemsthatariseinthoseanimalsthatareimported(e.g.,inspectionatorigin
anduponarrival,quarantine,necropsy,testing,containmentafterimport),anddoingthisforlimited
settings/uses,maybetterprotecthumansfrompotentialimportedzoonoses.Inordertoconductappropriate
inspectionuponarrival,HHS/CDCshouldrestricttheimportationofnon-nativewildanimalstoonlythose
portsofentrystaffedbyHHS/CDCpersonnel.

Importednon-nativewildanimalsshouldbequarantinedforatimeperiodadequateforgeneralhealth
inspection/assessmentandtopermitobservationfordiseasesofconcernwithknownincubationperiodsinthat
species.Necropsiesshouldbemandatoryofanimalsthatdie,orareeuthanizedduetoillness,duringquarantine
andperformedbyappropriatelytrainedandaccreditedveterinaryspecialists.Diagnostictestingofillanimalsto
attempttoruleoutinfectiouscausesshouldbeatthediscretionofHHS/CDC(dependingonspecies,illness,
availabilityoftests,etc.).(
ref:ControlofForeignDiseaseVectorsandInvasiveSpeciespolicy
)Thesequarantinescanbe
conductedatHHSquarantinestations,atapprovedfacilities(asiscurrentlydonefornon-humanprimates),orin
thecountryoforiginifreliabilitycanbeverified.Theseprocesseswonteliminateallcommunicablediseaserisk
(e.g.,asymptomaticcarriers),butshouldsignificantlyreduceit.Methodsforidentifyingandtrackingimported
animalsfromimportationtofinaldestinationwillneedtobedeterminedinordertoquicklyinvestigateall
animalsandhumansatriskshouldazoonoticdiseasebecomeapparentafterquarantine.Trackingwillbe
facilitatedifimportationofanimalsthatposeathreattohumanoranimalhealthislimitedtoresearchor
conservationfacilitiesandpurposes.

Thecostsandbusinessimpactsofsuchregulatorychangesforimportersofnon-nativewildanimalsareoutside
thescopeoftheAVMAsexpertise,asisthepotentialforablackmarket,sonospecificcommentsare
provided.Ingeneral,coststoprotectpublichealth(aswellasanimalhealthandwelfare,andecosystemhealth)
areapartofdoingbusiness,includingthecostsofquarantineandanynecessarynecropsiesortesting,andwould
beexpectedtobepassedontocustomers.Healthypost-quarantineanimalswouldpresumablybeworthmore
tocustomers.TheCDC/HHS(andotherinvolvedagencies)roleinsuchaprogramshouldbefee-supported.

Norequirements,shortofeliminatingimportation,caneliminatetheriskofimportingcommunicablediseases
(knownorunknown),especiallyforexoticanimals.However,areasonablecombinationoflimitingimportation
toonlyknownacceptablespeciesandforrestricteduses(whichwouldalsodecreasethetotalnumberof
importedanimals),inspection,quarantine,necropsyandtestingwhenneeded,andatrackingsystemcangreatly
reducetherisk.Coordinatedandcomprehensivepoliciesandactionsareneededtoaddresstheriskstohuman,
animal,andenvironmentalhealthandwelfarethatcanresultfromthetradeofbothexoticandnativewildlife.
AVMA,representingallfacetsoftheveterinaryprofession,iscommittedtoassistingwiththiseffortand
recommendsastructuredprocessutilizinganexpertworkinggroupsimilartothatassembledfortheMay2006
meeting.

Respectfully,

A

LyleP.Vogel,DVM,MPH
AssistantExecutiveVicePresidentfor
W.RonDeHaven,DVM,MBA
ExecutiveVicePresident

References

AVMAPolicies

http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/exotic_animal_trade.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/rabies_control.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/foreign_disease.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/electronic_identification.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/wild_animal_ownership.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/animal_health_crossroads.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/exotic_importation.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/importation.asp
http://www.avma.org/issues/policy/rabies_control.asp

rehtO

http://www.nasphv.org/Documents/RabiesCompendium.pdf

CPHRVM/AWC/CNH