Disease Control Legislation
The Healthy Dog Importation Act of 2023
Introduced in February of this year, Senate Bill 502/House Resolution 1184 would amend the Animal Health Protection Act to impose restrictions on the importation of dogs into the United States. The bills would prohibit the importation of a live dog into the United States unless the Department of Agriculture (USDA) determines the dog (1) is in good health; (2) has received all necessary vaccinations, internal and external parasite treatment, and demonstrated negative test results as evidenced by a certificate from a licensed veterinarian; and (3) is officially identified by a permanent method approved by USDA. Additionally, dogs entering the United States for transfer must be at least six months of age and accompanied by a USDA permit. Transfer is defined as a change of ownership or control of an imported dog to another person, including by sale, adoption, exchange, or donation.
USDA must provide an exception to any requirements under the bill for dogs that are transferred for (1) research purposes; (2) veterinary treatment under certain conditions, including appropriate quarantining; or (3) lawful importation into the state of Hawaii if the dog is not transported out of Hawaii for transfer at less than six months of age.
Both bills remain in their respective committees.
Prepare for and Respond to Existing Viruses, Emerging New Threats and Pandemics Act (PREVENT Pandemics Act)
On December 29, 2022, as part of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023, President Biden signed into law the PREVENT Pandemics Act, which represented the culmination of a multi-year, bipartisan legislative effort aimed at strengthening America’s medical and public health preparedness and response framework. The legislation should improve strategy and coordination among our public health preparedness agencies, shore up the supply chain and government stockpiles of medical products including masks, drugs, vaccines, and tests, and authorize the Advanced Research Projects Agency for Health (ARPA-H) to accelerate innovation in health and medicine by investing in new, broadly applicable, high-risk, high-reward research.
United States Senate Bill 2333 (‘‘Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness and Response Act’’)
Introduced in July of this year, SB 2333 would reauthorize certain programs under the Public Health Service Act with respect to public health security and all-hazards preparedness and response. It was ordered to be reported favorably with amendments and remains in committee.
The Foreign Animal Disease Prevention, Surveillance, and Rapid Response Act of 2023
Introduced in May 2023, House Resolution 3419 would amend the Animal Health Protection Act to reauthorize the animal disease prevention and management programs. In late June this bill was referred to the Subcommittee on Livestock, Dairy, and Poultry.
The Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act of 2024
House Resolution 4368 was introduced in June, and would provide appropriations for the Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and related agencies (includes funding for agency dog importation oversight and zoonotic disease programs). Committee meetings were held in late July.
United States Reg CDC-2023-0051 ("Control of Communicable Diseases; Foreign Quarantine: Importation of Dogs and Cats")
Proposed in July, the prospective rulemaking would provide for a similar regulatory framework to that established with the CDC’s June 2021 temporary suspension of dog importations from dog-maintained rabies virus variant (DMRVV) high-risk countries, the new rulemaking would provide additional clarity and safeguards to help mitigate the risks by establishing standardized forms, health testing, microchipping, and minimum age requirements for imported dogs and cats. The comment deadline ended on September 8.
CDC Request for Comment: “National One Health Framework to Address Zoonotic Diseases and Advance Public Health Preparedness in the United States: A Framework for One Health Coordination and Collaboration Across Federal Agencies”
As directed by Congress, the CDC has partnered with other departments and agencies to develop the One Health framework to address zoonotic diseases and further public health preparedness. Under this framework One Health collaboration will be facilitated for zoonotic disease prevention and control across the U.S. Government for the next five years. The CDC has requested comment by November 6, 2023.
States are considering and enacting disease control legislation as well. Illinois House Bill 3087 was enacted in June of this year, and allows for the temporary prohibition on the sale, movement, or exhibition of certain types of animals in order to prevent or reduce the spread of any contamination or disease. Massachusetts House Bill 801 (in committee) would provide for quarantine and vaccination regulations regarding dogs brought into the state by animal rescue organizations. Minnesota Senate Bill 1496 (held over to the 2024 session) would authorize certain over-the-counter canine bordetella vaccines. New Jersey Assembly Bill 2773 would establish certain requirements – including disease control measures – concerning animal rescue organizations, breeders, importation of cats and dogs, and sale or adoption of cats and dogs.
Latest Update to the CDC Dog Importation Ban
On July 6, 2023, the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) announced that, effective August 1, the temporary suspension for dogs entering the United States from high-risk countries for dog rabies will be extended. This includes dogs arriving from countries without high risk of rabies if the dogs have been in a high-risk country in the past 6 months. The extension will expand eligibility for importation from high-risk countries to all people, provided the dogs meet the following requirements:
- Dogs vaccinated against rabies in the United States by a US-licensed veterinarian may re-enter the United States from a high-risk country without a CDC Dog Import Permit if the dog:
- has a current, valid US-issued rabies vaccination certificate;
- has proof of an ISO-compatible microchip;
- is at least 6 months old;
- is healthy upon arrival; and
- arrives at one of the 18 airports with a CDC quarantine station
Expired US-issued rabies vaccination certificates will not be accepted. If the US-issued rabies vaccination certificate has expired, the dog must get a booster dose outside the United States and meet requirements for foreign-vaccinated dogs (see below).
- For foreign-vaccinated dogs coming from high-risk countries, there are additional options for bringing in 1-2 dogs or 3 or more dogs.
Three or more dogs coming from high-risk countries can now arrive at specific ports of entry with a prior reservation at a CDC-approved animal care facility. All dogs must have a valid rabies vaccination certificate and adequate rabies serologic titer or complete a 28-day quarantine at the US animal care facility. This option is also available to shipments of 1-2 dogs arriving without a CDC Dog Import Permit.
To access the CDC notice, click here:
State Rabies Control Measures
California Assembly Bill 332 would require the State Department of Public Health to collect certain rabies control program data from each city, city and county, or county. That bill has been carried over to the 2024 session. Vermont House Bill 401 would provide for rabies vaccination certificate requirements for domestic pets. Both bills remain in committee.
Center For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Investigation Notice: Salmonella Outbreak Linked to Small Turtles
On August 18, the CDC announced that public health officials are investigating a multistate outbreak of salmonella linked to small turtles. The outbreak spans 11 states, with at least 26 illnesses and nine hospitalizations reported., the health organization said. Tennessee has the most cases (six), but incidents were also reported in Missouri, Illinois, Ohio, Kentucky, Virginia, North Carolina, Georgia, California, Pennsylvania and New York.
Since the first case in late October of last year, new cases have been reported almost every month, with six of the cases reported in July.
To access the CDC announcement, click here:
Both the federal government and state legislatures are considering bills relating to plans and practices for animals in emergency or disaster situations.
U.S. SB4205 (“PAW Act Planning for Animal Wellness Act”)
As reported in our last regulatory update, SB4205 (and its companion bill HB7789) would direct the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to establish a working group relating to best practices and federal guidance for animals in emergencies and disasters. Specifically, the working group shall (1) encourage and foster collaborative efforts among individuals and entities working to address the needs of household pets, service and assistance animals, and captive animals in emergency and disaster preparedness, response, and recovery; and (2) review best practices and federal guidance on sheltering and evacuation planning relating to the needs of such pets and animals. President Biden signed the bill into law on October 17, 2022.
As previously reported, California Assembly Bill 1648 requires a city or county that requires a kennel license or permit to operate a kennel within its jurisdiction, to require, as a condition for obtaining the kennel license or permit, that the kennel owner create and submit to the city or county an animal natural disaster evacuation plan for any kennel covered by the license or permit. On September 26 of last year the bill was enacted. Maryland House Bill 102 was enacted in May and requires the Department of Agriculture to develop, publish, and regularly update a fact sheet on the care and protection of pets in the event of an eviction or other loss of possession of real property.
California Assembly Bill 781, introduced earlier this year, would require a county, on or before July 1, 2024, to update its emergency plan to designate emergency shelters able to accommodate persons with pets. The bill has passed in both the assembly and the senate. Introduced in January, New York Assembly Bill 1201 would establish the "emergency preparedness month act"; exempts prefabricated go-bags and individual emergency preparedness items (including pet items) from sales tax during specified time periods. It remains in the Governmental Operations Committee.
Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) Laws
Since our latest update, Illinois and Maryland have passed EPR legislation. While in 2023 momentum for enacting EPR laws might be slowing slightly, states are still actively considering study bills, among other measures.
Illinois SB 1555 was enacted on July 28 of this year and became effective immediately. Under the new law, a Statewide Recycling Needs Assessment Advisory Council that includes representation from the packaging industry will be created by 2024.
Maryland Senate Bill 222 was signed by the governor in May, and had evolved into legislation to study the concept of EPR rather than enact a program, although it does call for the creation of a producer responsibility organization. The law also mandates a statewide needs assessment and the creation of an advisory council, which will include representation from producers and “material-oriented trade groups.” Also called for under the new law is an EPR advisory council to report to the governor by Dec. 1, 2024 with recommendations for a future EPR plan. The law also allows the Maryland Department of the Environment to approve a single producer responsibility organization.
States with Active Proposed EPR Plastics and Packaging Bills:
- New Jersey A1444/S426: These carryover bills would require producers of packaging products sold in New Jersey to adopt and implement packaging product stewardship plans. These bills remain in committee.
- Massachusetts Senate Bill 570 is a plastics reduction bill that remains in committee.
A number of other states considered EPR legislation this term, but the bills never made it out of committee and will not carry over to the next legislative session. These states include:
Connecticut House Bill 6664 was enacted in June, but EPR components were stripped from the final bill.
New York Senate Bill 4246A (Packaging Reduction and Recycling Infrastructure Act) , viewed as a high-profile EPR bill (and touted by legislators as the most collaborative version of EPR yet), did not pass before the legislative session expired.
Hawaii House Bill 1326 would have established the Hawaii Zero Waste Initiative to, among other things, manage the State's transition to a zero solid waste economy. That bill died in committee.
Washington House Bill 1131 (Waste and Recycling And Packaging Act) would have established an extended producer responsibility program for certain packaging and paper and would have created a container deposit system with a 10-cent deposit value. The bill missed a key vote deadline and did not progress.
Georgia Senate Bill 49, which would have prohibited use of single-use plastic bags, died in committee.
New Mexico House Bill 432/Senate Bill 243, also aimed at plastic reduction and the prohibition of single-use plastic bags, similarly died in committee.
The Lacey Act Amendments of 2023
United States House Bill 4922/Senate Bill 1614 ("Lacey Act Amendments of 2023") would amend Title 18 (Crimes & Criminal Procedure), Chapter 3 (Animals, Birds, Fish and Plants), Section 42 (Importation or shipment of injurious mammals, birds, fish (including mollusks and crustacea), amphibia, and reptiles; permits, specimens for museums; regulations) of U.S. Code to enhance protections against the importation, and transport between States, of injurious species.
These bills are identical to S. 626, which failed in the 2021-22 session. Language from S. 626 was included as an amendment to the "America COMPETES Act of 2022" (H.R. 4521) which ultimately died in Conference Committee upon adjournment of the 2021-22 legislative session.
On May 16, 2023, SB1614 was introduced and referred to the Committee on Environment and Public Works. On July 26 of this year HB4922 was introduced and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary, and in addition to the Committee on Natural Resources, to be determined by the Speaker whether such provisions fall within the jurisdiction of the respective committee.