9 CFR § 3.110 - Veterinary care.

§ 3.110 Veterinary care.

(a) Newly acquired marine mammals must be isolated from resident marine mammals. Animals with a known medical history must be isolated unless or until the newly acquired animals can be reasonably determined to be in good health by the attending veterinarian. Animals without a known medical history must be isolated until the newly acquired animals are determined to be in good health by the attending veterinarian. Any communicable disease condition in a newly acquired marine mammal must be remedied before it is placed with resident marine mammals, unless, in the judgment of the attending veterinarian, the potential benefits of a resident animal as a companion to the newly acquired animal outweigh the risks to the resident animal.

(b) Holding facilities must be in place and available to meet the needs for isolation, separation, medical treatment, and medical training of marine mammals. Marine mammals that are isolated or separated for nonmedical purposes must be held in facilities that meet minimum space requirements as outlined in § 3.104. Holding facilities used only for medical treatment and medical training need not meet the minimum space requirements as outlined in § 3.104. Holding of a marine mammal in a medical treatment or medical training enclosure that does not meet minimum space requirements for periods longer than 2 weeks must be noted in the animal's medical record and the attending veterinarian must provide a justification in the animal's medical record. If holding in such enclosures for medical treatment and/or medical training is to last longer than 2 weeks, such extension must be justified in writing by the attending veterinarian on a weekly basis. In natural lagoon or coastal enclosures where isolation cannot be accomplished, since water circulation cannot be controlled or isolated, separation of newly acquired marine mammals must be accomplished using separate enclosures situated within the facility to prevent direct contact and to minimize the risk of potential airborne and water cross-contamination between newly acquired and resident animals.

(c) Any holding facility used for medical purposes that has contained a marine mammal with an infectious or contagious disease must be cleaned and/or sanitized in a manner prescribed by the attending veterinarian. No healthy animals may be introduced into this holding facility prior to such cleaning and/or sanitizing procedures. Any marine mammal exposed to a contagious animal must be evaluated by the attending veterinarian and monitored and/or isolated for an appropriate period of time as determined by the attending veterinarian.

(d) Individual animal medical records must be kept and made available for APHIS inspection. These medical records must include at least the following information:

(1) Animal identification/name, a physical description, including any identifying markings, scars, etc., age, and sex; and

(2) Physical examination information, including but not limited to length, weight, physical examination results by body system, identification of all medical and physical problems with proposed plan of action, all diagnostic test results, and documentation of treatment.

(e) A copy of the individual animal medical record must accompany any marine mammal upon its transfer to another facility, including contract or satellite facilities.

(f) All marine mammals must be visually examined by the attending veterinarian at least semiannually and must be physically examined under the supervision of and when determined to be necessary by the attending veterinarian. All cetaceans and sirenians must be physically examined by the attending veterinarian at least annually, unless APHIS grants an exception from this requirement based on considerations related to the health and safety of the cetacean or sirenian. These examinations must include, but are not limited to, a hands-on physical examination, hematology and blood chemistry, and other diagnostic tests as determined by the attending veterinarian.


(1) A complete necropsy, including histopathology samples, microbiological cultures, and other testing as appropriate, must be conducted by or under the supervision of the attending veterinarian on all marine mammals that die in captivity. A preliminary necropsy report must be prepared by the veterinarian listing all pathologic lesions observed. The final necropsy report must include all gross and histopathological findings, the results of all laboratory tests performed, and a pathological diagnosis.

(2) Necropsy records will be maintained at the marine mammal's home facility and at the facility at which it died, if different, for a period of 3 years and must be presented to APHIS inspectors when requested.

[66 FR 253, Jan. 3, 2001, as amended at 85 FR 28799, May 13, 2020]

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