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

12VAC5-105-30. Rabies Vaccine Exemptions.

A. The local health director, in consultation with the state public health veterinarian, may grant an exemption to the requirement for rabies vaccination as articulated in § 3.2-6521 of the Code of Virginia if a vaccination would likely endanger the animal's life due to a previously diagnosed disease or other previously documented medical considerations as documented by a licensed veterinarian.

B. Such exemption may be granted for an individual animal only after the veterinarian has (i) consulted with the local health director and completed and submitted to the LHD an application for exemption from rabies vaccination on a form approved by the department and (ii) submitted other documents or medical records as may be requested by the LHD. After approval of such exemption, the LHD shall issue a rabies vaccination exemption certificate, copies of which shall be provided to the veterinarian, the owner of the dog or cat exempted from rabies vaccination, and the animal control office of the municipality in which the owner of the dog or cat resides. Certification that a dog or cat is exempt from rabies vaccination may be presented in lieu of a rabies vaccination certificate for the purposes of veterinary inspection by designated local authorities and for the purposes of licensing by the locality where the animal resides. Certification that a dog or cat is exempt from rabies vaccination shall be valid for one year, after which time the animal shall be vaccinated against rabies or the application for exemption shall be renewed.

C. The governing body of any locality may require that an exempted animal be confined on the owner's property or kept on a leash, or both, or otherwise restrained if it is thought necessary to protect public health and safety. The governing body of any locality may require that a form of unique identification is associated with an exempted animal. An exempted animal shall be considered unvaccinated by the department in the event of the animal's exposure to a confirmed or suspected rabid animal. Any requirement to vaccinate an exempted animal for rabies in the event of that animal's exposure to a confirmed or suspected rabid animal 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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