42 CFR § 71.51 - Dogs and cats.
(a) Definitions. As used in this section the term:
Cat means all domestic cats.
Confinement means restriction of a dog or cat to a building or other enclosure at a U.S. port, en route to destination and at destination, in isolation from other animals and from persons except for contact necessary for its care or, if the dog or cat is allowed out of the enclosure, muzzling and keeping it on a leash.
Dog means all domestic dogs.
Owner means owner or agent.
Valid rabies vaccination certificate means a certificate which was issued for a dog not less than 3 months of age at the time of vaccination and which:
(1) Identifies a dog on the basis of breed, sex, age, color, markings, and other identifying information.
(2) Specifies a date of rabies vaccination at least 30 days before the date of arrival of the dog at a U.S. port.
(3) Specifies a date of expiration which is after the date of arrival of the dog at a U.S. port. If no date of expiration is specified, then the date of vaccination shall be no more than 12 months before the date of arrival at a U.S. port.
(4) Bears the signature of a licensed veterinarian.
(b) General requirements for admission of dogs and cats -
(1) Inspection by Director. The Director shall inspect all dogs and cats which arrive at a U.S. port, and admit only those dogs and cats which show no signs of communicable disease as defined in § 71.1.
(2) Examination by veterinarian and confinement of dogs and cats. When, upon inspection, a dog or cat does not appear to be in good health on arrival (e.g., it has symptoms such as emaciation, lesions of the skin, nervous system disturbances, jaundice, or diarrhea), the Director may require prompt confinement and give the owner an opportunity to arrange for a licensed veterinarian to examine the animal and give or arrange for any tests or treatment indicated. The Director will consider the findings of the examination and tests in determining whether or not the dog or cat may have a communicable disease. The owner shall bear the expense of the examination, tests, and treatment. When it is necessary to detain a dog or cat pending determination of its admissibility, the owner shall provide confinement facilities which in the judgment of the Director will afford protection against any communicable disease. The owner shall bear the expense of confinement. Confinement shall be subject to conditions specified by the Director to protect the public health.
(3) Record of sickness or death of dogs and cats and requirements for exposed animals.
(i) The carrier responsible for the care of dogs and cats shall maintain a record of sickness or death of animals en route to the United States and shall submit the record to the quarantine station at the U.S. port upon arrival. Dogs or cats which have become sick while en route or are dead on arrival shall be separated from other animals as soon as the sickness or death is discovered, and shall be held in confinement pending any necessary examination as determined by the Director.
(ii) When, upon inspection, a dog or cat appears healthy but, during shipment, has been exposed to a sick or dead animal suspected of having a communicable disease, the exposed dog or cat shall be admitted only if examination or tests made on arrival reveal no evidence that the animal may be infected with a communicable disease. The provisions of paragraph (b)(2) of this section shall be applicable to the examination or tests.
(4) Sanitation. When the Director finds that the cages or other containers of dogs or cats arriving in the United States are in an insanitary or other condition that may constitute a communicable disease hazard, the dogs or cats shall not be admitted in such containers unless the owner has the containers cleaned and disinfected.
(c) Rabies vaccination requirements for dogs.
(i) If a dog is less than 6 months of age, it has been only in a country determined by the Director to be rabies-free (a current list of rabies-free countries may be obtained from the Division of Quarantine, Center for Prevention Services, Centers for Disease Control, Atlanta, GA 30333); or
(i) If the date of vaccination shown on the vaccination certificate is less than 30 days before the date of arrival, the dog may be admitted, but must be confined until at least 30 days have elapsed since the date of vaccination;
(ii) If the dog is less than 3 months of age, it may be admitted, but must be confined until vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age and for at least 30 days after the date of vaccination;
(iii) If the dog is 3 months of age or older, it may be admitted, but must be confined until it is vaccinated against rabies. The dog must be vaccinated within 4 days after arrival at destination but no more than 10 days after arrival at a U.S. port. It must be kept in confinement for at least 30 days after the date of vaccination.
(3) When a dog is admitted under paragraph (c)(2) of this section, the Director shall notify the health department or other appropriate agency having jurisdiction at the point of destination and shall provide the address of the specified place of confinement and other pertinent information to facilitate surveillance and other appropriate action.
(e) Additional requirements for the importation of dogs and cats. Dogs and cats shall be subject to such additional requirements as may be deemed necessary by the Director or to exclusion if coming from areas which the Director has determined to have high rates of rabies.
(f) Requirements for dogs and cats in transit. The provisions of this section shall apply to dogs and cats transported through the United States from one foreign country to another, except as provided below:
(1) Dogs and cats that appear healthy, but have been exposed to a sick or dead animal suspected of having a communicable disease, need not undergo examination or tests as provided in paragraph (b)(3) of this section if the Director determines that the conditions under which they are being transported will afford adequate protection against introduction of communicable disease.
(g) Disposal of excluded dogs and cats. A dog or cat excluded from the United States under the regulations in this part shall be exported or destroyed. Pending exportation, it shall be detained at the owner's expense in the custody of the U.S. Customs Service at the U.S. port.
The following state regulations pages link to this page.