(US) embargo on African rodents

Mary Finelli hello_itz_me at hotmail.com
Wed Jun 18 19:11:21 EDT 2003


CONTROL OF COMMUNICABLE DISEASES
June 18, 2003
[Federal Register: (Volume 68, Number 117)]
[Page 36566-36567]
[DOCID:fr18jn03-69]
RIN 0920-AA03

AGENCIES: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Food and Drug
Administration (FDA), Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

ACTION: Notice of embargo and prohibition on transportation or offering for
transportation in interstate commerce, or sale, offering for sale, or
offering for any other type of commercial or public distribution, including
release into the environment, of certain rodents and Prairie dogs.

SUMMARY: Shipments of rodents (order Rodentia) from Africa capable of
transmitting monkeypox virus in humans are being imported into the United
States and further distributed. In the United States, Prairie dogs (Cynomys
sp.) and certain rodents from Africa may further transmit the monkeypox
virus in humans.

Because of the public health threat posed by the importation of rodents from
Africa, CDC is implementing an immediate embargo on the importation of all
rodents (order Rodentia) from Africa until further notice. In addition, as a
public health measure, CDC and FDA are prohibiting, until further notice,
the transportation or offering for transportation in interstate commerce, or
the sale or offering for sale, or offering for any other type of commercial
or public distribution, including release into the environment, of Prairie
dogs and the following rodents from Africa: Tree squirrels (Heliosciurus
sp.); Rope squirrels (Funisciurus sp.); Dormices (Graphiurus sp.);  Gambian
Giant Pouched Rats (Cricetomys sp.); Brush-tailed porcupines (Atherurus
sp.), Striped mice (Hybomys sp.).

This prohibition does not apply to individuals who transport listed animals
to veterinarians or animal control officials or other entities pursuant to
guidance or instructions issued by Federal, State, or local government
authorities.

This action is being taken because at least six different species of
potentially infected rodents have been implicated in the current outbreak of
monkeypox virus in humans. Monkeypox virus was also subsequently transmitted
from infected rodents to native Prairie dogs.  Based on epidemiologic and
scientific knowledge gathered to date, specific interstate restrictions on
the species within these genera are required to contain further movement of
implicated animals. A ban on the intrastate sale or offering for sale or
offering for any other type of commercial or public distribution of the
species within these genera is also necessary because of the potential
impact on interstate disease spread. Furthermore, a ban on the importation
of shipments of all rodents from Africa is necessary to mitigate the harm of
further introductions of monkeypox virus into the United States.

DATES: This embargo and prohibition is effective on June 11, 2003, and will
remain in effect until further notice.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Thomas A. Demarcus, National Center for
Infectious Diseases (E03), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 1600
Clifton Road, NE., Atlanta, GA 30333, 770-488-7100, or Gloria Dunnavan,
Division of Compliance, Office of Surveillance and Compliance, Center for
Veterinary Medicine, Food and Drug Administration, 7500 Standish Place
(HFV-230), Rockville, MD 20855, 301-827-1168.

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