Importation and interstate movement of wildlife, aquatic, and non-native animals

The AVMA recommends that appropriate state and federal agencies develop, implement, and enforce regulations governing and/or restricting the importation and interstate movement of wildlife, aquatic, and non-native animal species when there is reasonable probability that such movement may spread pathgens that threaten the health of humans, domestic animals, or wildlife. The AVMA recognizes that release and relocation, when performed with adequate controls and planning by wildlife, veterinary, agriculture, and public health authorities, are valid management tools, especially in species propagation and recovery plans. It also recognizes that shipment of properly packaged diagnostic specimens (including intact carcasses) across state lines may be needed during investigations of public health or animal health significance. Consideration should be given to potential impacts of movement of wildlife, such as changes in distributions of genetic characteristics, parasites, and pathogens, and deliberations should be science-based. Development of systems to improve traceability of relocated wildlife, aquatic, and non-native animal species and to enhance animal infectious disease surveillance, reporting, and response is advisable. Public education and international collaboration may reduce risks of disease dissemination and adverse ecological and animal welfare impacts associated with the collection and movement of wildlife, aquatic, and non-native animal species.