.11 Importation of Animals.

A. Except as provided in §§B and I of this regulation, the owner or custodian of a dog, cat, or ferret 4 months old or older to be imported into the State for any purpose shall forward a certificate, issued by a licensed veterinarian, to the Public Health Veterinarian, within 10 days of the animal's arrival in the State, that:

(1) Describes the dog, cat, or ferret, documenting that it was vaccinated against rabies;

(2) Lists the manufacturer or brand of vaccine used;

(3) Lists the date or dates the vaccine was given;

(4) Documents that the animal is adequately vaccinated; and

(5) Documents that the most recent dose of vaccine was given more than 30 days before the date the animal arrived in the State.

B. Except as provided in §I of this regulation, the owner or custodian of a dog, cat, or ferret brought into the State for a period of less than 30 days is exempt from the requirement to forward a certificate to the Public Health Veterinarian as specified in §A of this regulation, if a copy of a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian can be presented to the local health officer immediately when requested.

C. The local animal control authority may accept the certificate specified in §A of this regulation as proof of vaccination for licensing or registration purposes for the period specified on the certificate or 12 months, whichever period is shorter.

D. The Public Health Veterinarian or the local health officer may order the owner or custodian of a dog, cat, or ferret brought into Maryland in violation of the provisions of this regulation to return the animal immediately to its point of origin at the owner's expense.

E. If the local animal control authority is unable to locate an individual who will assume fiscal responsibility for an animal under an order to be returned to the point of origin within 48 hours of the issuance of the order, the authority may deem the animal abandoned and humanely kill it or place it for adoption.

F. Research facilities and licensed dealers, as defined in 7 U.S.C. §2132 and 9 CFR 1.1 and 2.7, are exempt from §§D and E of this regulation when importing dogs, cats, and ferrets.

G. The Secretary shall establish, in consultation with the Maryland Department of Agriculture, rabies control requirements for the importing and keeping of animals other than dogs, cats, and ferrets, such as livestock, wildlife, zoo animals, and exotic animals.

H. The Secretary, with the agreement of the Secretary of Agriculture and the Secretary of Natural Resources, shall prohibit the importation of certain animals or species of animals from areas inside or outside the United States that are known to have a high prevalence of rabies and the animals subject to the ban are judged to present an unacceptable risk of rabies infection in humans or animals.

I. The Public Health Veterinarian may waive the requirements of §§A and B of this regulation if the importation of the animal poses no risk to the public health or safety.