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Virginia Administrative Code
Title 12. Health
Agency 5. Department of Health
Chapter 105. Rabies Regulations
10/19/2020

12VAC5-105-10. Definitions.

The following words and terms when used in this chapter shall have the following meanings unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:

"Currently vaccinated" means the animal was (i) vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary technician under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian on the premises and (ii) the animal was vaccinated and revaccinated in accordance with the current National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian's Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control or as described on the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved vaccine label. For the purposes of rabies exposure response and § 3.2-6522 of the Code of Virginia, an animal will not be considered currently vaccinated until it has been at least 28 days since the initial vaccination and then immediately after every subsequent vaccination.

"Department" means the Virginia Department of Health.

"Rabid animal" means an animal that has had the diagnosis of rabies confirmed by the Virginia Division of Consolidated Laboratory Services, Fairfax Health Department Laboratory, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Rabies Laboratory, or a laboratory in any state that is recognized by that state to perform rabies testing for public health purposes. Any suspected rabid animal that has exposed a companion or agricultural animal or a person and is not available for laboratory testing should be presumed to be rabid.

"Rabies exposure" or "exposed to rabies" means any circumstance where saliva or central nervous system tissue from a rabid or suspected rabid animal entered or could have entered a fresh, open wound or come in contact with a mucous membrane of a person or susceptible species of companion or agricultural animal. For the purposes of companion and agricultural animal exposure, the actual witnessing of a bite or attack by a rabid or suspected rabid animal is not necessary to define an exposure; however, a rabid or suspected rabid animal needs to have been witnessed in close proximity to the exposed animal and where, in the judgment of the local health director or his designee, it is reasonable to assume that the rabid or suspected rabid animal could have exposed the susceptible companion or agricultural animal. The department should notify the Virginia Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services when agricultural animals meet exposure criteria and coordinate exposure response with that agency. This definition notwithstanding, decisions regarding the disposition of animals housed or maintained with an agricultural animal that is diagnosed with rabies shall be at the discretion of the local health director.

"Rabies vaccination certificate" means a document provided by a licensed veterinarian or a licensed veterinary establishment indicating a specific animal has been vaccinated or revaccinated in accordance with the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian's Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control or as described on the U.S. Department of Agriculture approved vaccine label and includes at least, but is not limited to, the following: signature of the veterinarian, the animal owner's name and address, the locality where the animal resides, the species of the animal, the sex, whether or not the animal is spayed or neutered, the age, the color, the primary breed, the certificate expiration date, and the vaccination number, also known as the serial lot number. In lieu of individual certificates, a herd certificate can be issued for livestock other than horses that includes at least the signature of the veterinarian, the owner's name and address, the species of animal, the sex, the approximate age, the primary breed, date of vaccination, the rabies vaccine product name, the vaccination number, identifying information for each animal such as ear tag number, tattoo or other permanent identification, and the name and contact information of the veterinarian who administered the vaccine. In lieu of individual certificates, a certificate of veterinary inspection for use in shipping equine may be generated for horses that includes at least the signature of the veterinarian, the owner's name and address, the sex, the approximate age, the date of vaccination, the rabies vaccine product name, the vaccination number, identifying information for each horse such as name, color, markings, tattoo or brand, and the name and contact information for the veterinarian who administered the vaccine.

"Suspected rabid animal" means any animal that has not been tested for rabies and that the department considers to be a species at high risk for acquiring or transmitting rabies whether or not the animal is exhibiting clinical signs compatible with rabies and any animal the department considers at low risk for acquiring or transmitting rabies that is exhibiting clinical signs compatible with rabies. At the discretion of the local health director, any animal to which an observation period will be applied that may have bitten a person shall be considered a suspected rabid animal until the end of the observation period. The status of animals for which an observation period will not be applied or that the department has not identified as either high or low risk for acquiring or transmitting rabies shall be at the discretion of the local health director.

Statutory Authority

§§ 3.2-6521 and 32.1-12 of the Code of Volume 31, Issue 22, eff. July 31, 2015.

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