There have been several occurrences in modern history in which a naturally occurring disease spreads or seems imminent to spread to large populations in a greater magnitude than is usually found there. These outbreaks include "influenza" and "smallpox" and have had devastating impacts on communities. This page includes legal related information for preparedness and outbreak control.
The volume of information for certain categories (like the outbreak of H1N1 in 2008-2009) require a specific page and are not include with “all”. Please see the "Realated Links" section for these exceptions.
Federal LawsSenior Assistant Attorney General, Agriculture & Health Division, Memorandum: Public Health Emergencies --Current Legal Authority, January 31, 2002.
A memorandum describing the legal authorities for various governmental entities to respond in a serious public health emergency.
Federal Registery, Restrictions on African Rodents and Prairie Dogs, Interim Final Rule, November 4, 2003.
Federal Register notice regarding new restrictions on African rodents, prairie dogs, and certain other animals; opportunity for public comment.
HHS/CDC Interim Final Rule: Q&A
Federal Registery, Control of Communicable Diseases, June 12, 2003.
Federal Register Notice of CDC-FDA embargo and prohibition on transportation or offering for transportation in interstate commerce, or sale, offering for sale, or offering for any other type of commercial or public distribution, including release into the environment, of certain rodents and Prairie dogs.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, Amendment to Extend January 24, 2003 Declaration Reagrding Administration of Smallpox Countermeasures, January 24, 2004.
This amendment, signed by Secretary of Health and Human Services Tommy Thompson, extends for another year, until and including January 23, 2005, the availability of the legal protections of section 304 of the Homeland Security Act to those who make, provide, and receive the smallpox vaccine and other smallpox countermeasures.
West Nile VirusU.S. President, The Mosquito Abatement for Safety and Health Act, August 15, 2003.
This law (Public Law No: 108-75), signed by President Geroge Bush , authorizes grants through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to prevent mosquito-borne diseases, and for other purposes.
Federal. U.S. 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals, No Spray Coalition v The City of New York, Decided June 5, 2001.
An environmental group brought action against NYC under the citizen suit provision of the Resource Conservation Recovery Act (RCRA) to enjoin renewed insecticide spraying. The Court held that the city's spraying did not violate RCRA.
(Posted: 08/29/2003 )
State LawsAlaska, Public Health Emergency: Flow of Event.
A Flow Chart of the Alaska Public Health Emergency Response.
Monkey PoxFlorida State Veterinarian, Memorandum: Release of facilities Quarantined by the State of Florida due to the Monkeypox Outbreak, August 15, 2003.
Memo from the Florida State Veterinarian releasing state quarantines imposed on premises.
Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Press Release: Prairie Dogs, Gambian Rats Are Illegal And Possibly Dangerous, Ag Chief Warns, June 12, 2003
Press release from the Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture, Tommy Irvin, reminding Georgia residents that the possession of prairie dogs and Gambian rats as pets is illegal in the state, and urging them to turn illegal pets in to authorities.
Illinois Department of Agriculture, Notification of Exective Order,June 9, 2003.
Notice to pet shop operators to notify licensees about the Executive Order prohibiting the importation, sale or distribution, public display of prairie dogs or Gambian rats.
Illinois Department of Agriculture, Letter of Quarantine, June 5, 2003.
Letter and notice of quarantine to an individual issued under the Illinois Diseased Animals Act, ordering quarantine on "all animals in your possession."
Illinois Governor, Executive Order in Response to Orthopox Outbreak, June 7, 2003.
Executive Order, issued by Illinois Governor Rod R. Blagojevich, prohibiting the importation, sale, distribution, or display of prairie dogs and Gambian rats.
Indiana State Board of Animal Health, Title 345 Indiana State Board of Animal Health, July 10, 2003. Updated Emergency Rule Adopted by the Indiana State Board of Animal Health temporarily adding provisions that prohibit or limit the movement, sale, distribution, and release of prairie dogs, Gambian rats, and five other "affected species," and animals exposed to them.
Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, Order No. AI-03-04: The sale, movement,or release of certain rodents in the State of Iowa, June 12, 2003.
Order issued by Patty Judge, Iowa Secretary of Agriculture, banning the transportation, sale, or release of prairie dogs and six species of African Rodents.
Kansas Livestock Commissioner, Order Prohibiting The Sale or Transportation of Prairie Dogs and Certain African Rodents, June 12, 2003.
Order of the Kansas Livestock Commissioner prohibiting the sale or transportation of any prairie dog or African rodent within the State of Kansas, until further notice.
Kentucky Governor, Relating to the Establishment of a Moratorium Upon the Importation of Potential Monkeypox Vectors into the Commonwealth , June 16, 2003.
Executive Order by Governor Paul E. Patton prohibiting the importation of all rodents, primates and rabbits into Kentucky for distribution to the public, and for other purposes related to the transmission of monkeypox.
Michigan Department of Community Health, Order Finding Imminent Danger to the Public Health and Requiring Corrective Action, June 13, 2003.
This order prohibits the Intra-state transportation, display, sale, any other distribution (including exchanges with or without remuneration), or release into the environment of certain animals, including prairie dogs.
Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, Order to Euthanize and Test for Prevention and COntrol of Rabies and or Zoonotic Disease, June 17, 2003. Orders of Quarantine and Euthanasia to an individual by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services to quarantine all non-human mammals on the property and to euthanize a prairie dog for the prevention and control of a zoonotic disease.
Nebraska Deaprtment of Health and Human Services, Emergency Rule, July 3, 2003.
Emergency Rule requiring all prairie dogs in captivity received through commercial facilities after April 1, 2003 to be confiscated, euthanized, and disposed of; and accompanying Neb. Rev. Stat. 71-502
New York State Public Health Council, Emergency Rule: Communicable Disease Designation, 7/25/2003.
Emergency rule adopted by the New York State Public Health Council designating monkeypox as a reportable communicable disease.
North Dakota State Board of Animal Health, Order No. 2003-04: Monkeypox in Prairie Dogs and Gambian Giant pouched Rats , June 11, 2003.
Immediate Order by the North Dakota State Board of Animal Health, issued , prohibiting the importation or release of Giant Gambian Rats or prairie dogs into the state.
(Posted June 14, 2003 3:37 PM)
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control,Blank Emergency Public Health Order Form, June 10, 2003.
Blank form of an Emergency Public Health Order issued by South Carolina to individuals who were, or are, in possession of prairie dogs, ordering them to quarantine the animal in its cage for one month from the date of the notice, plus other required measures. The form came into use on and was later supplemented (see supplemental on this page).
South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control,Blank Emergency Public Health Order Form: Supplement, June 17, 2003.
South Carolina. Blank Form of a Supplemental Emergency Public Health Order issued by South Carolina to individuals who were, or are, in possession of prairie dogs, ordering them to quarantine the animal in its cage for one month from the date of the notice, plus other required measures. The form came into use on about June 17, 2003 as a supplement to the original orders of June 10, 2003 (see original form on this page).
Washington Deaprtment of Health, Blank Form of Health Officer's Order,July 11, 2003.
Blank Form of Health Officer's Order used to order pet stores and other places where animals are kept together to cease the sale and distribution of prairie dogs and certain other animals, and other instructions.
(Posted 07/11, 2003 4:00 PM)
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Emergency Rule, April 1, 2003.
Emergency Rule published and effective on June 12, 2003 by the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, prohibiting the import, sale, offering of sale, allowing of public access to, or disposal of prairie dogs or any mammal known to have been in contact with a prairie dog since April 1, 2003.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Emergency Order: Revised, June 12, 2003.
Revised Emergency Order issued by the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection on June 12, 2003 regarding prairie dogs and certain other mammals.
Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection, Emergency Order, June 9, 2003.
Emergency Order issued by Wisconsin State Epidemiologist Jeffrey P. Davis on June 9, 2003 prohibiting the importation, sale or distribution, and display of prairie dogs or species of mammals that have come in contact with prairie dogs.
West Nile VirusNew York City Board of Health, Resoultion aimed at preventitive measures in reducing the threat of West Nile Virus, April 18, 2000.
Resolution of the NYC Board of Health ordering all persons to abate standing water nuisances that could breed mosquitoes Adopted originally on April 18, 2000 and republished periodically.
(Posted: 08/29/2003 10:30:00 AM)
Monkey PoxKane County, Illinois, Resolution No. 03 - 210:Providing for The Temporary Quarantine of Certain Animals, June 10, 2003.
The Order prohibits for 30 days the sale, distribution, or public display of prairie dogs and Gambian rats, or any animal that exhibits fever, respiratory symptoms (sneezing, coughing and labored breathing), pustules of the skin, or discharge from the eyes.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Animal Control Bureau, North Carolina. Blank Declaration of Nuisance and Blank Order of Confinement. Declaration of an animal to be a nuisance and ordering the confinement of the animal due to nuisance. These documents are used to place prairie dogs, which are illegal in Mecklenburg County, under "house arrest" until authorities decide whether they are safe and legal.
Monkey PoxStanding Committee on the Food Chain and Animal Health (SCFCAH, Monkey Pox virus: Commission bans the import prairie dogs and rodents that could carry the diseasePress Release June 16, 2003
describes it unanimous agreement to ban the import of prairie dogs (Cynomys sp.) from the USA and rodents of non-domestic species and squirrels from Sub Saharan Africa because of the risks of monkey pox disease.
(Posted June 18, 2003)
Articles and ReportsRichard A. Goodman, et al.,"Forensic Epidemiology: Law at the Intersection of Public Health and Criminal Investigation",Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics 31, 684-700(2003)
Senior Staff Counsel at the California Department of Health Services, Suggested Communicable Disease Vignettes, January 27, 2006.
Vignettes concerning an avian influenza pandemic developed in January 2006 by Peter Baldridge, Senior Staff Counsel at the California Department of Health Services. The vignettes are intended to train users to describe communicable disease scenarios that are disruptive to safe court operations, identify health benefits of various precaution methods (e.g., quarantine vs. isolation of exposed and ill persons, respectively), and define factors that result in infectious disease transmission.
Monkey PoxDivision of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, MMWR Dispatch, July 2, 2003
Update: Multistate Outbreak of Monkeypox --- Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, and Wisconsin, 2003
Division of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
CDC Confirms Monkeypox in Rodents Interim Recommendations Aim to Curb Further Spread, July 2, 2003
Interim Recommendations Aim to Curb Further Spread material for July 2, 2003 Monkeypox Legal Response Telephone Conference. (Posted: 07/02/2003)
West Nile VirusWilfredo Lopez, "West Nile Virus in New York City, August, 2000.
journal article written by by Wilfredo Lopez, JD, Chief Counsel for the NYC Department of Health, published in the American Journal of Public Health in August 2002.
PresentationsAnne Murphy, Chief Counsel, Illinois Department of Public Health, "The Evolving Role of Public Health Law in Containing Infectious Disease,"March 3, 2004
A presentation given to the 2004 International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases.
Monkey PoxUpdated Overview of Federal Agency Authorities Related to Monkeypox (v. 5.0), July 14, 2003.
Table shows the statutory authority, statutory triggers, and scope of duties for the five U.S. federal agencies involved in monkeypox control and legal response.