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Subject:
From:
"Johnson, Robert" <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Vermont Municipal Government Discussion Network <[log in to unmask]>
Date:
Wed, 4 Aug 1999 14:59:25 -0400
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          MODEL VERMONT RABIES CONTROL ORDINANCE DRAFT 1999

20 VSA, Chapter 193  DOMESTIC PET OR WOLF-HYBRID CONTROL

Rabies Control Regulations  Vermont Department of Health

Definitions

Domestic pet means any domestic dog, cat or ferret.

Owner means any person who owns a domestic pet or wolf-hybrid and includes
any person who has actual or constructive possession of the pet or
wolf-hybrid. The term also includes those persons who provide feed or
shelter to a domestic pet or wolf-hybrid. However, it is not the intent of
the general assembly to require a person to be responsible for feral animals
that take up residence in a building other than the person's home, even if
the person occasionally provides feed to the animal.

Wolf-hybrid means an animal, which is the progeny or descendant of a
domestic dog and a wolf.

REPORTING OF ANIMAL BITES

It shall be the duty of every physician to report within 24 hours to the
local health officer (in the town where the bite occurred) the full name,
age and address of any person under his or her care or observation who has
been bitten by a mammal.

If no physician is in attendance and the person bitten is a child, it shall
be the duty of the parent or guardian to make such report within 24 hours.
If the person bitten is an adult, such person shall make the report, or if
incapacitated, it shall be made by whoever is caring for the person bitten.

A veterinarian must notify the local health officer of any biting incident.

HUMAN RABIES PREVENTION

Persons who regularly handle animals such as animal control officers,
veterinary staff etc, trappers, slaughterhouse workers and taxidermists
should receive rabies preexposure vaccination.

ANIMAL RABIES VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

All dogs, cats, ferrets and wolf-hybrids, by law, must be vaccinated against
rabies. For the purposes of licensing a dog or wolf-hybrid, a current
vaccination against rabies means that: (1) a dog or wolf-hybrid of less than
one year of age has been vaccinated; (2) a dog or wolf-hybrid of one or more
years but less than two years of age has been vaccinated within the
preceeding 12 months; and (3) a dog or wolf-hybrid of two or more years has
been vaccinated within the preceeding 24 months.

The State of Vermont maintains a list of USDA approved rabies vaccines for
cats, dogs and ferrets to be administered by a licensed veterinarian or
under the direct supervision of the veterinarian. Approved vaccines for dogs
will be used for wolf-hybrids until such vaccines are approved for
wolf-hybrids.

Rabies vaccinations must be administered to dogs, cats, ferrets and
wolf-hybrids between three and four months of age and boostered one year
later. The State of Vermont requires a dog or wolf-hybrid of two or more
years of age to be vaccinated within the preceeding 24 months. Call the
state public health veterinarian at 1-800-640-4374, 802-863-7240 for more
information.

It is recommended that all domestic animals be vaccinated against rabies.
Animal owners should check with their veterinarian every year regarding the
vaccination status of their animals.

MANAGEMENT OF ANIMALS THAT BITE HUMANS

The local health officer shall cause an apparently healthy dog, cat or
ferret that bites a human to be confined and observed for 10 days. Usually
this can be accomplished at the residence of a responsible animal owner.
Town officials shall confine a stray animal at an appropriate facility. Any
illness in the animal must be reported to the town health officer and
evaluated by a veterinarian.

Other biting animals, which may have exposed a person to rabies, must be
reported to the town health officer. The state public health veterinarian
will determine management of animals other than dogs, cats and ferrets.

MANAGEMENT OF ANIMALS EXPOSED TO RABIES

Rabies Exposure: Rabies is transmitted only when the virus is introduced
into wounds, open cuts in skin, or onto mucous membranes (eyes, nose,
mouth).

Any animal potentially exposed to rabies virus by a wild animal or a bat
that is not available for testing must be regarded as having been exposed to
rabies.

Unvaccinated dogs, cats and ferrets exposed to a rabid animal must be
euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the
animal must be placed in strict isolation (approved by the state public
health veterinarian) for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being
released.  Dogs, cats and ferrets that are currently vaccinated must be
revaccinated immediately and kept under the owner's control and observation
for 45 days. The state public health veterinarian will evaluate animals with
expired vaccinations on a case by case basis.

The state public health veterinarian will evaluate other animals exposed to
rabies on a case by case basis.

LOCAL ANIMAL CONTROL

Local governments should initiate and maintain effective programs to ensure
vaccination of all domestic pets and wolf-hybrids and to remove strays and
unwanted animals in accordance with the statutes. These programs should
include:

1. The legislative body shall annually designate one or more persons to
maintain a list of unlicensed, inoculated and licensed dogs and wolf-hybrids
owned or kept in their municipality and to submit the list to the municipal
clerk.

2. On receiving a list of dogs and wolf-hybrids from persons authorized by
the legislative body, the municipal clerk shall notify the owners or keepers
of all dogs and wolf-hybrids named on the list that have not already been
licensed or inoculated, and after May 30 shall furnish to the legislative
body a list of dogs and wolf-hybrids not licensed or inoculated as required
by law. Owners shall also be notified that unlicensed or uninoculated dogs
or wolf-hybrids may be destroyed.

3. In the event that the owner of a stray animal is unknown, notification of
the confined animal may be posted in the municipal clerk's office and other
usual places for public notice for a one-week period.

4. Municipal clerks shall collect $1.00 for each license sold and forward
the fees to the state treasurer for rabies control programs.

5. A license fee surcharge of up to $10.00 per license may be implemented by
the legislative body of a city, town or village which has established an
animal and rabies control program for the sole purpose of funding the
program.

6. The legislative body of a city or town by ordinance may regulate the
keeping of domestic pets or wolf-hybrids and their running at large.

Bob Johnson
State Public Health Veterinarian
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