Part I: Recommendations for Immunization Procedures
The purpose of these recommendations is to provide information
vaccines to practicing veterinarians, public health officials, and
concerned with rabies control. This document will serve as the
animal rabies vaccination programs throughout the United States.
will result in standardization of procedures among jurisdictions,
necessary for an effective national rabies-control program. These
dations are reviewed and revised as necessary before the beginning
calendar year. All animal rabies vaccines licensed by the U.S.
Agriculture (USDA) and marketed in the United States are listed in
and Part III describes the principles of rabies control.
The Committee * recommends that all animal rabies vaccines be
for use by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.
The use of vaccines with 3-year duration of immunity is
since their use constitutes the most effective method of
proportion of immunized dogs and cats in comprehensive
ROUTE OF INOCULATION
Unless otherwise specified by the product label or package
vaccines must be administered intramuscularly at one site in
Vaccination is not recommended, since no rabies vaccine is
use in wild animals and since there is no evidence that any
protect wild animals against rabies. The Committee recommends
neither wild nor exotic animals be kept as pets and that wild
be crossbred to domestic dogs or cats. Offspring borne to wild
crossbred to domestic dogs or cats will be considered as wild
ACCIDENTAL HUMAN EXPOSURE TO VACCINE
Accidental human inoculation may occur during administration of
rabies vaccine. Such exposure to inactivated vaccines
known rabies hazard. No cases of rabies have resulted from
other exposure to a licensed, modified live virus vaccine in
IDENTIFICATION OF VACCINATED DOGS
The Committee recommends that all agencies and veterinarians
standard tag system. This will aid the administration of local,
national, and international procedures. Dog license tags should
conflict in shape and color with rabies tags. It is recommended
anodized aluminum rabies tags not be less than 0.064 inches in
Calendar Year Color Shape
1986 Orange Fireplug
1987 Green Bell
1988 Red Heart
1989 Blue Rosette
Rabies Certificate. All agencies and veterinarians should
#50 Rabies Vaccination Certificate of the National
State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc. (NASPHV), which can
obtained from vaccine manufacturers.
Part III: Principles of Rabies Control
These guidelines have been prepared by the NASPHV for use by
officials, practicing veterinarians, and others who may become
certain aspects of rabies control. The NASPHV plans to annually
revise these recommendations as necessary. Standardized control
are needed to deal effectively with the public health aspects of
PRINCIPLES OF RABIES CONTROL
Humans. Rabies in humans can be prevented by eliminating
rabid animals and by promptly treating local wounds and
when exposed. Current recommendations of the Immunization
Advisory Committee (ACIP) for preexposure and postexposure
prophylaxis are suggested for consideration by attending
These recommendations, along with the current status of
in the region and information concerning the availability
biologics, are available from state health departments.
Domestic Animals. Local governments should initiate and
effective programs to remove stray and unwanted animals and
vaccination of all dogs and cats. Since cat rabies cases
those annually reported in dogs, immunization of cats
required. Such procedures in the United States have reduced
tory-confirmed rabies cases in dogs from 8,000 in 1947 to
97 in 1984.
The recommended vaccination procedures and the licensed
vaccines are specified in Parts I and II of the NASPHV's
Wildlife. The control of rabies in foxes, skunks, raccoons,
terrestrial animals is very difficult. Selective reduction
populations, when indicated, may be useful, but the utility
procedure depends heavily on the circumstances surrounding
rabies outbreak. (See C: Control Methods in Wild Animals.)
CONTROL METHODS IN DOMESTIC AND CONFINED ANIMALS
Preexposure Vaccination and Management. Animal rabies
because of species limitations, techniques, and tolerances,
administered only by or under the direct supervision of a
arian. Within 1 month after vaccination, a peak rabies
is reached, and the animal can be considered immunized.
(See Parts I
and II for recommended vaccines and procedures.)
Dogs and Cats. All dogs and cats should be vaccinated
rabies commencing at 3 months of age and revaccinated
accordance with Part II of this Compendium.
Livestock. It is not economically feasible, nor is it
from a public health standpoint, to vaccinate all
against rabies. Veterinary clinicians and owners of
animals may consider immunizing certain breeding stock
areas where wildlife rabies is epizootic.
(1) Animals Maintained in Exhibits and Zoological
animals not completely excluded from all contact
vectors of rabies can become infected with rabies.
such animals may be incubating rabies when
animals, especially carnivores and omnivores having
with the viewing public, should be quarantined for
of 180 days. Since no rabies vaccine is licensed
for use in
wild animals, vaccination, even with inactivated
not recommended. Preexposure rabies immunization of
workers at such facilities is recommended to
workers and to reduce the need for euthanizing a
animal for rabies testing after it has bitten a
(2) Wild Animals. Because of the existing risk of
wild animals, such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes,
American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the
and the Conference of State and Territorial
strongly recommend the enactment of state laws
the interstate and intrastate importation,
relocation of wild animals and wild animals
domestic dogs and cats. Further, these same
continue to recommend the enactment of laws
distribution or keeping of wild animals as pets.
Stray-Animal Control. Stray dogs and cats should be removed
community, especially in rabies-epizootic areas. Local
ment and animal-control officials can enforce the pick-up
more efficiently if owned animals are confined or leashed
confined. Strays should be impounded for at least 3 days to
owners sufficient time to reclaim animals apprehended as
to determine whether human exposure has occurred.
International. Present USDA regulations (CFR No. 71154)
the importation of wild and domestic felines, canines,
potential rabies vectors are minimal for preventing the
duction of rabid animals into the United States. All
cats imported from countries with endemic rabies should
vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry
United States. ** CDC is responsible for these animals
into the United States. CDC's requirements should be
with interstate shipment requirements. The health
the state of destination should be notified within 72
any animal conditionally admitted into its
The conditional admission of such animals into the
States must be subject to state and local laws
Failures to comply with these requirements should be
reported to the director of CDC.
Interstate. Before interstate shipment, dogs and cats
vaccinated against rabies according to the Compendium's
dations, preferably at least 30 days before shipment.
shipment, they should be accompanied by a currently
Form #50 Rabies Vaccination Certificate. One copy of
ficate should be mailed to the appropriate Public
arian or State Veterinarian of the state of
Health Certificates. If a certificate is required for
cats in transit, it must not replace the NASPHV rabies
Adjunct Procedures. Methods or procedures that enhance
Licensure. Registration of licensure of all dogs and
cats may be
used as a means of rabies control by controlling the
population. Frequently, a fee is charged for such
revenues collected are used to maintain a rabies- or
control program. Vaccination is usually recommended as
quisite to licensure.
Canvassing of Area. This includes house-to-house calls
of the animal-control program to enforce vaccination
Citations. These are legal summonses issued to owners
tions, including failure to vaccinate or license their
Leash Laws. All communities should adopt leash laws
that can be
incorporated into their animal-control ordinances.
Postexposure Management. ANY DOMESTIC ANIMAL THAT IS BITTEN
SCRATCHED BY A BAT OR BY A WILD, CARNIVOROUS MAMMAL THAT IS
AVAILABLE FOR TESTING SHOULD BE REGARDED AS HAVING BEEN
EXPOSED TO A
Dogs and Cats. When bitten by a rabid animal,
and cats should be destroyed immediately. If the owner
unwilling to have this done, the unvaccinated animal
placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated
before being released. Dogs and cats that are currently
vaccinated should be revaccinated immediately and
observed by the
owner for 90 days.
Livestock. All species of livestock are susceptible to
infection; cattle appear to be among the most
susceptible of all
domestic animal species. Livestock known to have been
rabid animals should be destroyed (slaughtered)
the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal
kept under very close observation for 6 months.
The following ore recommendations to owners of
exposed to rabid animals:
(1) If slaughtered within 7 days of being bitten,
tissues may be
eaten without risk of infection, providing liberal
of the exposed area are discarded. Federal meat
will reject for slaughter any animal that has been
rabies within 8 months.
(2) No tissues or secretions from a clinically rabid
should be used for human or animal consumption.
because pasteurization temperatures will inactivate
virus, drinking pasteurized milk or eating
meat does not constitute a rabies exposure.
CONTROL METHODS IN WILD ANIMALS
Bats and wild carnivorous mammals, as well as wild animals
domestic dogs and cats, that bite people should be killed, and
priate tissues should be sent to the laboratory for examination
rabies. A person bitten by a bat or any wild animal should
report the incident to a physician who can evaluate the need
rabies treatment (see current ACIP rabies prophylaxis
Rabies Prevention -- United States, 1984. MMWR 1984;33:393-402,
Terrestrial Mammals. Continuous and persistent
programs for trapping or poisoning wildlife as a means of
control are not cost-effective in reducing wildlife
rabies incidence on a statewide basis. However, limited
high-contact areas (picnic grounds, camps, suburban areas)
indicated for the removal of selected, high-risk species of
animals. The public should be warned not to handle wild
state wildlife agency should be consulted early to manage
ation programs in coordination with the state health
Rabid bats have been reported from every state except
have caused human rabies infections in the United
States. It is
neither feasible nor practical, however, to control
bats by areawide bat-population reduction programs.
Bats should be eliminated from houses and surrounding
to prevent direct association with people. Such
then be made bat-proof by seating routes of entrance
or other means.
THE NASPHV COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE: Melvin K. Abelseth, DVM, PhD,
Russell W. Currier, DVM, MPH; John I. Freeman, DVM, MPH; Russell J.
DVM, MPH; Grayson B. Miller, Jr, MD; James M. Shuler, DVM, MPH; R.
Sikes, DVM, MPH
CONSULTANTS TO THE COMMITTEE: Leslie P. Williams, Jr, DVM, DrPH,
on Public Health & Regulatory Veterinary Medicine; Kenneth L.
MPH; David Aa Espeseth, DVM, Veterinary Biologics Staff, APHIS,
Koonse, Representative, Veterinary Biological Section Animal Health
Institute; Suzanne Jenkins, VMD, MPH, CDC, PHS, HHS
ENDORSED BY Conference of State and Territorial Epidemiologists,
on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine
** In regard to cats, these recommendations do not conform to the
recommendations of CDC and the U.S. Public Health Service. Although
feline rabies has increased, there has been no evidence of
increased risk of
imported rabies in cats. U.S. Foreign Quarantine Regulations do not
rabies vaccinations for imported cats.
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