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Compendium of Animal Rabies Control, 1994 National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. *


The purpose of this Compendium is to provide rabies information to veterinarians, public health officials, and others concerned with rabies control. These recommendations serve as the basis for animal rabies control programs throughout the United States and facilitate standard- ization of procedures among jurisdictions, thereby contributing to an effective national rabies control program. This document is reviewed annually and revised as necessary. Immunization procedure recommen- dations are contained in Part I; all animal rabies vaccines licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and marketed in the United States are listed in Part II; Part III details the principles of rabies control.

Part I: Recommendations for Immunization Procedures

  1. Vaccine Administration All animal rabies vaccines should be restricted to use by, or under the direct supervision of, a veterinarian.

  2. Vaccine Selection In comprehensive rabies control programs, only vaccines with a 3-year duration of immunity should be used. This constitutes the most effective method of increasing the proportion of immunized dogs and cats in any population. (See Part II.)

  3. Route of Inoculation All vaccines must be administered in accordance with the specifi- cations of the product label or package insert. If administered intra- muscularly, it must be at one site in the thigh.

  4. Wildlife Vaccination Parenteral vaccination of captive wildlife is not recommended because the efficacy of rabies vaccines in such animals has not been established and no vaccine is licensed for wildlife. For this reason, and because virus shedding periods are unknown, wild or exotic carnivores and bats should not be kept as pets. Hybrids (offspring of wild species bred with domestic dogs or cats) are considered wildlife. Zoos and research institutions may establish vaccination programs which attempt to protect valuable animals, but not in lieu of appropriate public health activities that protect humans. When they become available, the use of licensed oral vaccines for the mass immunization of wildlife may be considered in selected situations with state government approval.

  5. Accidental Human Exposure to Vaccine Accidental inoculation may occur during administration of animal rabies vaccine. Such exposure to inactivated vaccines constitutes no rabies hazard.

  6. Identification of Vaccinated Animals All agencies and veterinarians should adopt the standard tag system. This practice will aid the administration of local, state, national, and international control procedures. Animal license tags should be distinguishable in shape and color from rabies tags. Anodized aluminum rabies tags should be no less than 0.064 inches in thickness.

    1. Rabies Tags

      Calendar Year Color Shape ---------------------------------------

      1994 Orange Fireplug 1995 Green Bell 1996 Red Heart 1997 Blue Rosette

    2. Rabies Certificate. All agencies and veterinarians should use the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) form #50 or #51, "Rabies Vaccination Certificate," which can be obtained from vaccine manufacturers. Computer-generated forms containing the same information are acceptable.

    Part II: Vaccines Marketed in the United States and NASPHV Recommendations

Table_II

Part III: Rabies Control

  1. Principles of Rabies Control

    1. Human Rabies Prevention. Rabies in humans can be prevented either by eliminating exposures to rabid animals or by providing exposed persons with prompt local treatment of wounds combined with appro- priate passive and active immunization. The rationale for recom- mending preexposure and postexposure rabies prophylaxis and details of their administration can be found in the current recom- mendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP) of the Public Health Service (PHS). These recommendations, along with information concerning the current local and regional status of animal rabies and the availability of human rabies biologics, are available from state health departments.

    2. Domestic Animals. Local governments should initiate and maintain effective programs to ensure vaccination of all dogs and cats and to remove strays and unwanted animals. Such procedures in the United States have reduced laboratory confirmed rabies cases in dogs from 6,949 in 1947 to 182 in 1992. Because more rabies cases are reported annually involving cats than dogs, vaccination of cats should be required. The recommended vaccination procedures and the licensed animal vaccines are specified in Parts I and II of the Compendium.

    3. Rabies in Wildlife. The control of rabies among wildlife reser- voirs is difficult. Selective population reduction may be useful in some situations, but the success of such procedures depends on the circumstances surrounding each rabies outbreak. (See Section C. Control Methods in Wildlife.)

  2. Control Methods in Domestic and Confined Animals

    1. Preexposure Vaccination and Management. Animal rabies vaccines should be administered only by, or under the direct supervision of, a veterinarian. This is the only way to ensure that a respon- sible person can be held accountable to assure the public that the animal has been properly vaccinated. Within 1 month after primary vaccination, a peak rabies antibody titer is reached and the animal can be considered immunized. An animal is currently vaccinated and is considered immunized if it was vaccinated at least 30 days previously, and all vaccinations have been adminis- tered in accordance with this Compendium. Regardless of the age at initial vaccination, a second vaccination should be administered 1 year later. (See Parts I and II for recommended vaccines and procedures.)

      1. Dogs and Cats. All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age and revaccinated in accordance with Part II of this Compendium.

      2. Ferrets. Ferrets may be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age and revaccinated in accordance with Part II of this Compendium.

      3. Livestock. It is neither economically feasible nor justified from a public health standpoint to vaccinate all livestock against rabies. However, consideration should be given to the vaccination of livestock, especially animals which are parti- cularly valuable and/or may have frequent contact with humans, in areas where rabies is epizootic in terrestrial animals.

      4. Other Animals

        1. Wild. No rabies vaccine is licensed for use in wildlife. Because of the risk of rabies in wildlife (especially raccoons, skunks, coyotes, and foxes), the American Veterinary Medical Association, the NASPHV, and the Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists strongly recommend the enactment of state laws prohibiting the importation, distribution, relocation, or keeping of wildlife and wildlife crossbred to domestic dogs and cats as pets.

        2. Maintained in Exhibits and in Zoological Parks. Captive animals not completely excluded from all contact with rabies vectors can become infected. Moreover, wildlife may be incubating rabies when initially captured; therefore, wild- caught animals susceptible to rabies should be quarantined for a minimum of 180 days before exhibition. Employees who work with animals at such facilities should receive preexposure rabies immunization. The use of preexposure or postexposure rabies immunizations of employees who work with animals at such facilities may reduce the need for euthanasia of captive animals.

    2. Stray Animals. Stray dogs or cats should be removed from the community, especially in areas where rabies is epizootic. Local health departments and animal control officials can enforce the removal of strays more effectively if owned animals are confined or kept on leash. Strays should be impounded for at least 3 days to give owners sufficient time to reclaim animals and to determine if human exposure has occurred.

    3. Quarantine

      1. International. CDC regulates the importation of dogs and cats into the United States, but present PHS regulations (42 CFR No. 71.51) governing the importation of such animals are insuffi- cient to prevent the introduction of rabid animals into the country. All dogs and cats imported from countries with enzootic rabies should be currently vaccinated against rabies as recommended in this Compendium. The appropriate public health official of the state of destination should be notified within 72 hours of any unvaccinated dog or cat imported into his or her jurisdiction. The conditional admission of such animals into the United States is subject to state and local laws governing rabies. Failure to comply with these require- ments should be promptly reported to the director of the respective quarantine center.

      2. Interstate. Dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies according to the Compendium's recommendations at least 30 days prior to interstate movement. Animals in transit should be accompanied by a currently valid NASPHV Form #50 or #51, Rabies Vaccination Certificate.

    4. Adjunct Procedures. Methods or procedures which enhance rabies control include:

      1. Licensure. Registration or licensure of all dogs and cats may be used to aid in rabies control. A fee is frequently charged for such licensure and revenues collected are used to maintain rabies or animal control programs. Vaccination is an essential prerequisite to licensure.

      2. Canvassing of Area. House-to-house canvassing by animal control personnel facilitates enforcement of vaccination and licensure requirements.

      3. Citations. Citations are legal summonses issued to owners for violations, including the failure to vaccinate or license their animals. The authority for officers to issue citations should be an integral part of each animal control program.

      4. Animal Control. All communities should incorporate stray animal control, leash laws, and training of personnel in their programs.

    5. Postexposure Management. Any animal bitten or scratched by a wild, carnivorous mammal (or a bat) not available for testing should be regarded as having been exposed to rabies.

      1. Dogs and Cats. Unvaccinated dogs and cats exposed to a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated 1 month before being released. Dogs and cats that are currently vaccinated should be revaccinated immediately, kept under the owner's control, and observed for 45 days.

      2. Livestock. All species of livestock are susceptible to rabies; cattle and horses are among the most frequently infected of all domestic animals. Livestock exposed to a rabid animal and currently vaccinated with a vaccine approved by USDA for that species should be revaccinated immediately and observed for 45 days. Unvaccinated livestock should be slaughtered immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be kept under very close observation for 6 months. The following are recommendations for owners of unvaccinated livestock exposed to rabid animals:

        1. If the animal is slaughtered within 7 days of being bitten, its tissues may be eaten without risk of infection, provided liberal portions of the exposed area are discarded. Federal meat inspectors must reject for slaughter any animal known to have been exposed to rabies within 8 months.

        2. Neither tissues nor milk from a rabid animal should be used for human or animal consumption. However, since pasteur- ization temperatures will inactivate rabies virus, drinking pasteurized milk or eating cooked meat does not constitute a rabies exposure.

        3. It is rare to have more than one rabid animal in a herd, or herbivore to herbivore transmission, and therefore it may not be necessary to restrict the rest of the herd if a single animal has been exposed to or infected by rabies.

      3. Other Animals. Other animals bitten by a rabid animal should be euthanized immediately. Such animals currently vaccinated with a vaccine approved by USDA for that species may be revaccinated immediately and placed in strict isolation for at least 90 days.

    6. Management of Animals that Bite Humans. A healthy dog or cat that bites a person should be confined and observed for 10 days; it is recommended that rabies vaccine not be administered during the observation period. Such animals should be evaluated by a veter- inarian at the first sign of illness during confinement. Any illness in the animal should be reported immediately to the local health department. If signs suggestive of rabies develop, the animal should be humanely killed, its head removed, and the head shipped under refrigeration for examination by a qualified laboratory designated by the local or state health department. Any stray or unwanted dog or cat that bites a person may be humanely killed immediately and the head submitted as described above for rabies examination. Other biting animals which might have exposed a person to rabies should be reported immediately to the local health department. Prior vaccination of an animal may not preclude the necessity for euthanasia and testing if the period of virus shedding is unknown for that species. Management of animals other than dogs and cats depends on the species, the circumstances of the bite, and the epidemiology of rabies in the area.

  3. Control Methods in Wildlife The public should be warned not to handle wildlife. Wild carnivorous mammals and bats (as well as the offspring of wild species cross-bred with domestic dogs and cats) that bite or otherwise expose people, pets or livestock should be humanely killed and the head submitted for rabies examination. A person bitten by any wild mammal should immediately report the incident to a physician who can evaluate the need for antirabies treatment. (See current rabies prophylaxis recommendations of the ACIP.)

    1. Terrestrial Mammals. Continuous and persistent government-funded programs for trapping or poisoning wildlife are not cost effective in reducing wildlife rabies reservoirs on a statewide basis. However, limited control in high-contact areas (e.g., picnic grounds, camps, and suburban areas) may be indicated for the removal of selected high-risk species of wildlife. The state wildlife agency and state health department should be consulted for coordination of any proposed population reduction programs.

    2. Bats

      1. Indigenous rabid bats have been reported from every state except Alaska and Hawaii, and have caused rabies in at least 19 humans in the United States. It is neither feasible nor desirable, however, to control rabies in bats by programs to reduce bat populations.

      2. Bats should be excluded from houses and surrounding structures to prevent direct association with humans. Such structures should then be made bat-proof by sealing entrances used by bats.

  4. THE NASPHV COMMITTEE: Keith A. Clark, DVM, PhD, Chair; Millicent Eidson, MA, DVM; Suzanne R. Jenkins, VMD, MPH; Russell J. Martin, DVM, MPH; Grayson B. Miller, Jr., MD; F. T. Satalowich, DVM, MSPH; Faye E. Sorhage, VMD, MPH. CONSULTANTS TO THE COMMITTEE: James E. Childs, ScD, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); Robert B. Miller, DVM, MPH, APHIS, USDA; Patrick Morgan, DVM, DrPH, AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine; Charles E. Rupprecht, VMD, PhD, CDC; R. Keith Sikes, DVM, MPH; Richard A. Zehr, Veterinary Biologics Section, Animal Health Institute. ENDORSED BY: American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA); Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE).

Address all correspondence to: Keith A. Clark, DVM, PhD, Zoonosis Control Division, Texas Department of Health, 1100 West 49th Street, Austin, TX 78756.


Table_II
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Part II: Vaccines Marketed in the United States and NASPHV Recommendations
===========================================================================================================================================
                                                                                                  Age at
                                                                            For use   Dosage     primary         Booster      Route of
Product name         Produced by                 Marketed by                  in       (ml)    vaccination *   recommended   inoculation
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
A) INACTIVATED
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  TRIMUNE            Fort Dodge                  Fort Dodge                 Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM **
                     License No. 112                                        Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM

  ANNUMUNE           Fort Dodge                  Fort Dodge                 Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     License No. 112                                        Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM

  DURA-RAB 1         ImmunoVet                   ImmunoVet, Vedco, Inc.     Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     License No. 302-A                                      Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM

  DURA-RAB 3         ImmunoVet                   ImmunoVet, Vedco, Inc.     Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM
                     License No. 302-A                                      Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM

  RABCINE 3          ImmunoVet                   SmithKline Beecham         Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM
                     License No. 302-A           Animal Health              Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM

  ENDURALL-K         SmithKline Beecham          SmithKline Beecham         Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     License No. 189             Animal Health              Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM

  ENDURALL-P         SmithKline Beecham          SmithKline Beecham         Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ ***
                     License No. 189             Animal Health              Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      SQ

  RABGUARD-TC        SmithKline Beecham          SmithKline Beecham         Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM
                     License No. 189             Animal Health              Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM
                                                                            Sheep       1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                                                                            Cattle      1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                                                                            Horses      1      3 mos           Annually      IM

  DEFENSOR           SmithKline Beecham          SmithKline Beecham         Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM or SQ
                     License No. 189             Animal Health              Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   SQ
                                                                            Sheep       2      3 mos           Annually      IM
                                                                            Cattle      2      3 mos           Annually      IM

  RABDOMUN           SmithKline Beecham          Pitman-Moore, Inc.         Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM or SQ
                     License No. 189                                        Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   SQ
                                                                            Sheep       2      3 mos           Annually      IM
                                                                            Cattle      2      3 mos           Annually      IM

  RABDOMUN-1         SmithKline Beecham          Pitman-Moore, Inc.         Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                     License No. 189                                        Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      SQ

  SENTRYRAB-1        SmithKline Beecham          Synbiotics Corp.           Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     Animal Health                                          Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     License No. 225

  CYTORAB            Coopers Animal Health,      Coopers                    Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     Inc., License No. 107                                  Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM

  TRIRAB             Coopers Animal Health,      Coopers                    Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM
                     Inc., License No. 107                                                      yr later
                                                                            Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM

  EPIRAB             Coopers Animal Health,      Coopers                    Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM
                     Inc., License No. 107                                  Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM

  RABVAC 1           Solvay Animal Health,       Solvay Animal Health,      Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                     Inc., License No. 195-A       Inc.                     Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ

  RABVAC 3           Solvay Animal Health,       Solvay Animal Health,      Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM or SQ
                     Inc., License No. 195-A       Inc.                     Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM or SQ
                                                                            Horses      2      3 mos           Annually      IM

  PRORAB 1           Intervet, Inc.              Intervet, Inc.             Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                     License No. 287                                        Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                                                                            Ferrets     1      3 mos           Annually      SQ
                                                                            Sheep       2      3 mos           Annually      IM

  RM IMRAB 1         Rhone Merieux, Inc.         Rhone Merieux, Inc.        Dogs        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                     License No. 298                                        Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ

  RM IMRAB 3         Rhone Merieux, Inc.         Rhone Merieux, Inc.        Dogs        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM or SQ
                     License No. 298                                        Cats        1       yr later       Triennially   IM or SQ
                                                                            Sheep       2      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM or SQ
                                                                                                yr later
                                                                            Cattle      2      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                                                                            Horses      2      3 mos           Annually      IM or SQ
                                                                            Ferrets     1      3 mos           Annually      SQ
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
B) COMBINATION (inactivated rabies)
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  ECLIPSE 3 KP-R     Solvay Animal Health,       Solvay Animal Health,      Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     Inc., License No. 195-A      Inc.

  ECLIPSE 4 KP-R     Solvay Animal Health,       Solvay Animal Health,      Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     Inc., License No. 195-A       Inc.

  CYTORAB RCP        Coopers Animal Health,      Coopers                    Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     Inc., License No. 107

  FEL-O-VAX          Fort Dodge                  Fort Dodge                 Cats        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   IM
  PCT-R              License No. 112                                                            yr later

  ECLIPSE 4-R        Solvay Animal Health,       Solvay Animal Health,      Cats        1      3 mos           Annually      IM
                     Inc., License No. 195-A       Inc.

  RM FELINE 4 +      Rhone Merieux, Inc.         Rhone Merieux, Inc.        Cats        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   SQ
  IMRAB 3            License No. 298                                                            yr later

  RM FELINE 3 +      Rhone Merieux, Inc.         Rhone Merieux, Inc.        Cats        1      3 mos & 1       Triennially   SQ
  IMRAB 3            License No. 298                                                            yr later
-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
  * Three months of age (or older) and revaccinated 1 year later.
 ** Intramuscularly
*** Subcutaneously
===========================================================================================================================================


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