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Compendium of Animal Rabies Vaccines, 1983 Prepared by: The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, Inc.

Part I: Recommendations for Immunization Procedures The purpose of these recommendations is to provide information on rabies vaccines to practicing veterinarians, public health officials, and others concerned with rabies control. This document will serve as the basis for animal rabies vaccination programs throughout the United States. Its adoption by cooperating organizations will result in standardization of procedures among jurisdictions, which is necessary for an effective national rabies control program. These recommendations are reviewed and revised as necessary before the beginning of each calendar year. All animal rabies vaccines licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and marketed in the United States are listed in Part II of the Compendium, and Part III describes the principles of rabies control.

  1. VACCINE ADMINISTRATION: The Committee recommends that all animal rabies vaccines be restricted to use by or under the supervision of a veterinarian.

  2. VACCINE SELECTION: While recognizing the efficacy of vaccines providing one-year duration of immunity, the Committee recommends the use of vaccines providing three-year duration of immunity because their use constitutes the most effective method of increasing the proportion of immunized dogs and cats in comprehensive rabies control programs.

  3. ROUTE OF INOCULATION: All rabies vaccines must be administered intramuscularly at one site in the thigh.

  4. HIGH-RISK RABIES AREA: An area (town, city, or county) where a high incidence of rabies exists among wildlife or domestic species, as determined by state health officials, may be declared a High Risk Rabies Area. In such areas, the public should be alerted to the risk and urged to make sure that their dogs and cats have current rabies vaccinations. State health officials may wish to consider temporarily altering revaccination schedules.

  5. WILDLIFE VACCINATION: The Committee recommends that neither wild nor exotic animals be kept as pets. Since no rabies vaccine is licensed for use in wild animals and since there is no evidence that animal rabies vaccines produce acceptable levels of immunity in wild animals, vaccination is not recommended.

  6. ACCIDENTAL HUMAN EXPOSURE TO VACCINE: Accidental human inoculation may occur during administration of animal rabies vaccine. Such exposures to inactivated vaccines constitute no known rabies hazard. No cases of human rabies have resulted from needle or other exposure to a licensed modified live virus vaccine in the United States.

  7. IDENTIFICATION OF VACCINATED DOGS: The Committee recommends that all government agencies and veterinarians adopt the standard tag system. This will aid the administration of local, state, national, and international procedures. Dog license tags should not conflict in shape and color with rabies tags.

    1. Rabies Tags: Calendar Year Color Shape

1983 Green Bell

1984 Red Heart

1985 Blue Rosette

1986 Orange Fireplug 2. Rabies Certificate: Government agencies and veterinarians should use the NASPHV form #50, Rabies Vaccination Certificate, which can be obtained from vaccine manufacturers.

Part III: Principles of Rabies Control These guidelines have been prepared by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) for use by government officials, practicing veterinarians, and others who may become involved in certain aspects of rabies control. The NASPHV plans to annually review and revise these recommendations as necessary. Standardized control procedures are needed to effectively deal with the public health aspects of rabies.


    1. The Disease in Humans: Rabies in humans can be prevented by eliminating exposure to rabid animals and by prompt local wound treatment and immunization when exposed. Current recommendations of the Public Health Service Immunization Practices Advisory Committee (ACIP) are suggested for consideration by attending physicians. The recommendations along with the current status of animal rabies in the region and information concerning the availability of rabies biologics are available from state health departments.

    2. Domestic Animals: Local governments should initiate and maintain effective programs to remove strays and unwanted animals and ensure vaccination of all dogs and cats. Since cat rabies cases now equal the annual incidence in dogs, immunization of cats should be emphasized. Such procedures in the United States have reduced laboratory-confirmed rabies cases in dogs from 8,000 in 1947 to 216 in 1981. The recommended vaccination procedures and the licensed animal vaccines are specified in Parts I and II of the NASPHV's annually released Compendium.

    3. Rabies in Wildlife: The control of rabies in foxes, skunks, raccoons, and other terrestrial animals is very difficult. Selective reduction of these populations when indicated may be useful, but the utility of this procedure depends heavily on the circumstances surrounding each rabies outbreak.


    1. Pre-Exposure Vaccination and Management Animal rabies vaccines, because of species limitations, techniques, and tolerances, should be administered only by or under the direct supervision of a veterinarian. Within one month after vaccination, a peak rabies antibody titer is reached, and the animal can be considered to be immunized (see Parts I and II of the Compendium for recommended vaccines and procedures). (a) Dogs and Cats

      All dogs and cats should be vaccinated against rabies commencing at 3 months of age and revaccinated in accordance with Part II of this Compendium. (b) Livestock

      It is not economically feasible, nor is it justified from a public health standpoint, to vaccinate all livestock against rabies. Veterinary clinicians and owners of valuable animals may consider immunizing certain breeding stock located in areas where wildlife rabies is epizootic. (c) Other Animals


    Animals Maintained in Exhibits and in Zoological Parks Captive animals not completely excluded from all contact with local vectors of rabies can become infected with rabies. Moreover, such animals may be incubating rabies when captured. Exhibit animals, especially those carnivores and omnivores having contact with the viewing public, should be quarantined for a minimum of 180 days. Since no rabies vaccine is licensed for use in wild animals, vaccination even with inactivated vaccine is not recommended. Pre-exposure rabies immunization of animal workers at such facilities is recommended and reduces the need for euthanasia of valuable animals for rabies testing after they have bitten a handler.

(2) Wild Animals Because of the existing risk of rabies among wild animals such as raccoons, skunks, and foxes, the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), the NASPHV, and the Conference of State and Territorial Epidemiologists strongly recommend the enactment of state laws prohibiting the interstate and intrastate importation, distribution, and relocation of wild animals. Further, these same organizations continue to recommend the enactment of laws prohibiting the distribution and/or ownership of wild animals as pets.

2. Stray Animal Control

Stray animals should be removed from the community, especially in rabies epizootic areas. Local health department and dog control officials can enforce the pick-up of strays more efficiently if owned animals are confined or leashed when not confined. Strays should be impounded for at least 3 days to give owners sufficient time to reclaim animals apprehended as strays. 3. Quarantine

(a) International: Present USDA regulations (CFR No. 71154)

governing the importation of wild and domesticated felines, canines, and other potential vectors of rabies are minimal for preventing the introduction of rabid animals into the United States. All dogs and cats imported from countries with endemic rabies should be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before entry into the United States. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) is responsible for these animals imported into the United States. CDC's requirements should be coordinated with interstate shipment requirements. The health authority of the state of destination should be notified within 72 hours of any animal conditionally admitted into its jurisdiction. The conditional admission of such animals into the United States must be subject to state and local laws governing rabies. Failures to comply with these requirements should be promptly reported to the director of CDC. (b) Interstate: Before interstate shipment, dogs and cats

should be vaccinated against rabies according to the Compendium's recommendations and preferably shall be vaccinated at least 30 days before shipment. While in shipment, they should be accompanied by a currently valid NASPHV Form #50, Rabies Vaccination Certificate. One copy of the certificate should be mailed to the appropriate public health veterinarian or state veterinarian of the state of destination. (c) Health Certificates: If a certificate is required for

dogs and cats in transit, it must not replace the NASPHV rabies vaccination certificate. 4. Adjunct Procedures

Methods or procedures that enhance rabies control include: (a) Licensure: Registration or licensure of all dogs and

cats may be used as a means of rabies control by controlling the stray animal population. Frequently, a fee is charged for such licensure and revenues collected are used to maintain a rabies or animal control program. Vaccination is usually recommended as a prerequisite to licensure. (b) Canvassing of Area: This includes house-to-house calls

by members of the animal control program to enforce vaccination and licensure requirements. (c) Citations: These are legal summonses issued to owners

for violations including the failure to vaccinate or license their animals. (d) Leash Laws: All communities should adopt leash laws

that can be incorporated in their animal control ordinances. 5. Post-Exposure Management


cats should be destroyed immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the unvaccinated animal should be placed in strict isolation for 6 months and vaccinated one month before being released. Dogs and cats that are currently vaccinated should be revaccinated immediately, leashed, and confined for 90 days. (b) Livestock: All species of livestock are susceptible to

rabies infection; cattle appear to be among the most susceptible of all domestic animal species. Livestock known to have been bitten by rabid animals should be destroyed (slaughtered) immediately. If the owner is unwilling to have this done, the animal should be kept under very close observation for 6 months. Regarding the management of livestock exposed to rabid animals, the following recommendations and considerations are suggested: (1) If slaughtered within 7 days of being bitten, tissues may be eaten without risk of infection, provided liberal portions of the exposed area are discarded. Federal meat inspectors will reject for slaughter any animal that has been exposed to rabies within 8 months.

(2) No tissues or secretions from a clinically rabid animal should be used for human or animal consumption. However, because pasteurization temperatures will inactivate rabies virus, the drinking of pasteurized milk or eating of completely cooked meat does not constitute a rabies exposure. C. CONTROL METHODS IN WILD ANIMALS

  1. Terrestrial Mammals Since there is no evidence that these costly programs reduce either wildlife reservoirs or rabies incidence on a statewide basis, persistent, continuous, and routine trapping or poisoning campaigns as a means of wildlife rabies control should be abolished. However, limited control in high-contact areas (picnic grounds, camps, suburban areas) may be indicated for the removal of selected high-risk species of wild animals. The public should be warned not to handle wild animals. The state game department should be consulted early to manage any elimination programs when requested to do so by the state health department.

  2. Bats (a) Rabid bats have been reported from every state except

    Hawaii and have caused human rabies infections in the United States. It is neither feasible nor practical, however, to control rabies in bats by areawide bat population reduction programs. (b) Bats should be eliminated from houses and surrounding

    structures to prevent direct association with people. Such structures should then be made bat-proof by sealing routes of entrance with screen or other means. (c) A person bitten by a bat or any wild animal should

    immediately report the incident to a physician or hospital emergency room, which will evaluate the need for antirabies treatment (see current Rabies Prophylaxis Recommendation of the Public Health Service Immunization Practices Advisory Committee, MMWR 1982;31:279-80, 285). Bats and wild carnivorous mammals that bite people should be killed and sent to a laboratory for examination for rabies.

THE NASPHV COMPENDIUM COMMITTEE FOR 1983: Kenneth L. Crawford, DVM, MPH, Chairman, Melvin K. Abelseth, DVM, DVPH, PhD, John I. Freeman, DVM, MPH, Robert F. Goldsboro, DVM, MPH, Grayson B. Miller, Jr, MD, James M. Shuler, DVM, MPH, R. Keith Sikes, DVM, MPH CONSULTANTS TO THE COMMITTEE: Bernard LaSalle, DVM, Veterinary Biologics Staff, APHIS, USDA, William G. Winkler, DVM, MS, CDC, PHS, HHS, Dale E. Bordt, PhD, Vet. Biologics Section, Animal Health Institute, Lowell W. Hinchman, DVM, Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine ENDORSED BY: Conference of State and Territorial Epidemiologists, AVMA, Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine

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