Bringing Small Mammals and Non-African Rodents into the United States

photo of a ferret

Unless they are included in a specific embargo, such as civets, binturongs, genets,  and African rodents, or are known to carry disease transmissible to humans, small mammals (such as ferrets, rabbits, and non-African rodents) are not covered under CDC regulations.

Any animal known to carry a disease that can be transmitted to people (zoonotic disease) is subject to regulation 42CFR71.54.

Additionally, animals carrying diseases of risk to domestic or wild animals are subject to regulations from the US Fish and Wildlife Service, as they may be considered harmful species. Small-mammal pets, including ferrets, rabbits, and rodents, fall under USDA’s regulations regarding importing pets. Other specific small mammals, including hedgehogs and tenrecs, are subject to USDA requirements.

State or local regulations may apply. Pet ferrets, for example, are prohibited in California.