AN ACT

 

1Amending the act of December 15, 1986 (P.L.1610, No.181), 
2entitled "An act providing for the establishment and 
3operation of a Statewide system for the prevention and 
4control of rabies; imposing additional powers and duties on 
5the Departments of Agriculture and Health; providing for 
6emergency declarations; fixing penalties for violations; and 
7making an appropriation," further providing for findings, for
8legislative intent, for definitions, for Statewide system for 
9rabies control, for powers and duties of department, <-for 
10testing, for vaccination required and certificate and tag, 
<-11for antirabies clinics, for veterinarians participating in 
12low-cost rabies clinics and for powers and duties of 
13department relating to wildlife.

14The General Assembly of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania
15hereby enacts as follows:

16Section 1. Sections 2 and 3 of the act of December 15, 1986 
17(P.L.1610, No.181), known as the Rabies Prevention and Control 
18in Domestic Animals and Wildlife Act, are amended to read:

19Section 2. Findings.

20(a) Incidence of rabies.--[The incidence of rabies
21throughout this Commonwealth has increased over the past six
22years in alarming proportions. In 1985, 450 laboratory-confirmed
23rabies cases were reported in this Commonwealth, as compared to

1only 16 confirmed cases in 1979. Furthermore, the epidemic is
2spreading across the State. In 1981, only nine counties reported
3cases of rabies, whereas, in 1985, rabies cases were reported in
4almost half the counties of this Commonwealth.] Each year 
5several hundred cases of rabies in animals are reported in this 
6Commonwealth. The animals include wild animals, livestock and 
7domestic pets. Human exposure can occur through contact with 
8rabid animals.

9(b) Impact of rabies epidemic.--The socioeconomic impact of
10[the epidemic is frightening. Not only is the postexposure
11treatment costly, but the] rabies in animals and humans is 
12significant. Infection by the rabies virus is almost always 
13fatal. The protocol surrounding a single suspected rabid animal
14requires the expenditure of both monetary and human resources by 
15the department, and the human postexposure prophylaxis is 
16expensive.

17Section 3. Legislative intent.

18It is the intent of the General Assembly to provide a
19comprehensive rabies control program involving [research]
20control, prevention and education [which will protect the
21citizens of this Commonwealth from an unnecessary and harmful
22rabies epidemic].

23Section 2. The definition of "rabies" in section 4 of the
24act is amended and the section is amended by adding definitions
25to read:

26Section 4. Definitions.

27The following words and phrases when used in this act shall
28have the meanings given to them in this section unless the
29context clearly indicates otherwise:

30* * *

1"Certificate of vaccination." A certificate verifying
2vaccination against rabies, containing information consistent
3with the current version of the National Association of State
4Public Health Veterinarians Rabies Compendium.

5* * *

6"Direct veterinary supervision." Occurs when a veterinarian
7is on the premises and has given either oral or written
8instructions to a certified veterinary technician or
9noncertified employee and is easily and quickly available to
10assist the certified veterinary technician or the noncertified
11employee.

12"Dog Law." The act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225),
13known as the Dog Law.

<-14"Permanent identification." As defined in section 102 of the
15act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225), known as the Dog Law.

16"Rabies." [In man and animal, hydrophobia, an acute viral
17disease of the central nervous system usually transmitted to man
18through the injection of saliva by an animal bite.] A viral 
19disease affecting the central nervous system of a mammal that is
20transmitted through contact with saliva or other potentially 
21infectious material such as neural tissue from an infected 
22animal, including, but not limited to, a bite, scratch and 
23contact of saliva or other infectious material with broken skin, 
24an eye or mucous membrane.

25"Rabies vaccine." A product used to stimulate an immune
26response to rabies, licensed by the United States Department of
27Agriculture and listed in the current version of the National
28Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Rabies
29Compendium.

30* * *

1"Suspected <-of having rabies rabid animal." A mammal
2exhibiting behavior that is suggestive of infection with rabies
3in the opinion of a veterinarian, public health official or
4official representative of the department, the Department of
5Health or the pennsylvania Game Commission.

<-6"Vaccinated against rabies." The status of an animal that:

7(1) has undergone:

8(i) administration by a licensed veterinarian; or

9(ii) direct veterinary supervision of a rabies
10vaccine in accordance with the specifications of the
11vaccine manufacturer; and

12(2) is a member of an animal species for which the
13rabies vaccine has been approved for use and, regarding the
14duration of vaccination immunity as established by the
15vaccine manufacturer, has not expired.

16The term also describes the status of a dog or cat that is
17vaccinated against rabies with a rabies vaccine in accordance
18with the vaccine specifications of the manufacturer by a kennel
19owner or operator certified by the department to administer the
20rabies vaccine provided the dog or cat is kept on the licensed
21kennel premises.

<-22"Vaccinated against rabies." The status of an animal that:

23(1) has undergone administration of unexpired rabies
24vaccine in accordance with the specifications of the vaccine
25manufacturer:

26(i) by a licensed veterinarian; or

27(ii) under <-the direct supervision of a licensed
28veterinarian <-direct veterinary supervision; and

29(2) is a member of an animal species for which the
30rabies vaccine has been approved for use.

1Section 3. Sections 5<-, 6 and 7 and 6 of the act are amended
2to read:

3Section 5. Statewide system for rabies control.

4The department, in cooperation with the Pennsylvania Game
5Commission and the Department of Health, shall establish a
6Statewide system for the prevention and control of rabies in
7both wild and domestic animals. The system will encompass [both
8a comprehensive research program aimed at ending the rabies
9epidemic in the wild and] a rabies control program which
10includes standardized procedures to follow in this Commonwealth.

11Section 6. Powers and duties of department.

12The department shall have the following powers and duties:

13(1) Monitor, in cooperation with the Department of
14Health and the Pennsylvania Game Commission, the confirmed
15incidences of rabies in both domestic and wild animals.

16(2) [Determine, based on the number of confirmed cases,
17the number of projected incidences, the probability of human
18contact and the rapidity of the spread of the rabies, where a
19public risk may exist.] Coordinate and cooperate with 
20Federal, State and local health or animal regulatory 
21authorities as necessary to perform its responsibilities 
22under this act. This includes the authority to enter into 
23agreements to facilitate the distribution of rabies vaccine-
24impregnated animal baits to wildlife within this Commonwealth 
25by Federal or local health or animal regulatory authorities, 
26and to otherwise effectively allocate responsibilities, 
27equipment, expertise and manpower in furtherance of the 
28objectives of this act.

29(3) Institute the relevant actions outlined in this act,
30as well as others determined by the department until it is

1determined that the threat of the rabies epidemic no longer
2exists.

3(4) [Institute an intensive public education campaign on
4rabies through newspapers, radio and television
5announcements.] (Reserved).

<-6Section 7. Testing.

7All testing [and other necessary or appropriate rabies
8control] conducted upon rabid or suspected rabid animals
9appropriate to protect human life and safety shall be conducted
10[free of charge] at State laboratories or other facilities
11designated by the secretary.

12Section 4. <-Section 8 of the act, amended July 1, 1987 
13(P.L.184, No.23), is amended to read: <-Sections 8 and 9.1 of the 
14act, amended or added July 1, 1987 (P.L.184, No.23), are amended 
15to read:

16Section 8. Vaccination required; certificate and tag.

17(a) [Requirement.--Every person living in this Commonwealth,
18owning or keeping a dog or cat over three months of age, shall
19cause that dog or cat to be vaccinated against rabies. Rabies
20vaccine shall be administered by a licensed veterinarian or
21under the supervision of a licensed veterinarian. The
22Commonwealth shall recognize the three-year rabies vaccine as
23the vaccine to be used. Those animals vaccinated after one year
24of age shall get booster vaccinations every three years
25thereafter. Those animals vaccinated prior to one year of age
26will be considered protected for only one year and shall receive
27a booster vaccination one year later on the anniversary date of
28the original vaccination and shall be vaccinated every three
29years thereafter.] Vaccination against rabies required.--

30(1) A person owning or keeping a dog or a cat <-that

1spends part of a 24-hour day in a kennel or colony facility
2or in a residence inhabited by a human being in this
3Commonwealth must <-shall have the dog or cat vaccinated
4against rabies within four weeks after the date the dog or
5cat attains 12 weeks of age.

6(2) A person owning or keeping a dog or cat that is
7required to be vaccinated against rabies shall produce either
8proof of vaccination,<- or exemption status under subsection
9(f),<- within 48 hours after a police officer, State dog
10warden, department official or designated municipal animal
11control officer requests the proof. A dog or cat less than 12
12weeks of age may be vaccinated against rabies according to
13vaccine manufacturer instructions if there is a rabies
14vaccine licensed by the United States Department of
15Agriculture and listed in the current version of the National
16Association of State Public Health Veterinarians Rabies
17Compendium that is labeled for use in a dog or cat less than
1812 weeks of age.

<-19(a.1) Revaccination.--Unless otherwise indicated by the

<-20(3) Unless otherwise indicated by the directions of the
21vaccine manufacturer, a booster vaccination must shall be<-
22administered between 12 and 14 months from the date of the
23initial vaccination regardless of the age of the animal at
24initial vaccination. The animal must<- shall then be
25subsequently revaccinated <-on an ongoing basis in accordance
26with the directions of the vaccine manufacturer.

27(b) [Other persons] Limited certificate to vaccinate.--

28(1) [Owners of State-licensed private or breeding
29kennels and operators of State-licensed nonprofit kennels who
30have been examined and certified by the department under this

1subsection may administer rabies vaccine to animals which are
2either owned by the private or breeding kennel or which are
3in the possession of the nonprofit kennel.] <-An owner of a 
4kennel, other than a commercial kennel, that is licensed 
5under the Dog Law or an operator of a nonprofit kennel that 
6is licensed <-A person who holds any of the following types of 
7kennel licenses under the Dog Law may apply to the department 
8for a limited certificate authorizing the person to whom it 
9is issued to vaccinate a dog or cat <-that is owned and kept in 
10the licensed kennel or the possession of the licensed 
11nonprofit kennel. within the possession of the licensed 
12kennel:

13(i) Commercial kennel, in compliance with section
14207(i)(7) of the Dog Law.

15(ii) Dealer kennel.

16(iii) Nonprofit kennel.

17(iv) Private kennel.

18(v) Research kennel.

19(2) The department shall develop, implement and
20administer a comprehensive rabies vaccination instruction
21program encompassing a written examination, which, if
22successfully completed, will lead to [departmental
23certification.] issuance of a limited certificate as 
24described in paragraph (1). A person seeking a limited 
25certificate shall provide the department written verification 
26that was issued by a licensed veterinarian and confirms the 
27applicant was provided a demonstration of rabies vaccination 
28procedures by the licensed veterinarian, and the applicant 
29demonstrated competence in administering <-vaccinations against 
30rabies <-the vaccine. The department may assess a fee for the

1program and examination. All fees received and all costs
2incurred shall be deposited in or expended from the Dog
3[Fund] Law Restricted Account. The department shall
4promulgate all rules and regulations necessary to implement
5this subsection.

6(3) [State-licensed kennel owners and operators of
7State-licensed nonprofit kennels who obtain the required
8certification] A person to whom a limited certificate under 
9paragraph (1) is issued shall:

10(i) Purchase and administer [an inactivated] a
11rabies vaccine for vaccination of dogs and cats only from
12a licensed veterinarian or a source approved by the
13department.

14(ii) Administer the vaccine in an approved manner so 
15the dog or cat is properly vaccinated against rabies.

16(iii) Maintain detailed records for at least three
17years which indicate:

18(A) The name, type, lot number, date of purchase
19and date of administration of the rabies vaccine.

20(B) A detailed description of the [animal] dog 
21or cat vaccinated. The description must <-shall include 
22the breed, age, color, markings, sex and any 
23permanent identification markers such as a microchip 
24or tattoo.

25(C) The full name, address, certification number 
26and telephone number of the person who administered
27the vaccine.

28(iv) Provide immediate access to the records
29described in subparagraph (iii) upon the request of the
30department.

1(c) Certificate and tag of vaccination.--Every licensed
2veterinarian who vaccinates a dog or cat against rabies shall
3issue a [vaccination<-] certificate of vaccination and tag
4[provided by the manufacturer] to the owner. Information
5contained in rabies vaccination records shall not be used for
6the purpose of licensing animals or for taxation of individuals
7for owning animals. For the purposes of this section, each
8licensed veterinarian may select a vaccine of his choice and use
9the procedures for administering it as are consistent with the
10recommendations of the Federal agency which licenses the
11vaccine.

12(d) Enforcement.--[It shall be the duty of every] A police
13officer or State dog warden or the designated municipal animal
14control officer [to] shall issue a citation to every person who
15owns a dog or cat which is not either:

16(1) vaccinated <-against rabies pursuant to subsection
17(a)<-, (a.1) or (b); or

18(2) exempt from the vaccination requirement pursuant to 
19subsection (f).

20(e) Animals received by nonprofit kennels.--Notwithstanding
21any provision of this act, a nonprofit kennel is not required to
22vaccinate an animal received by the kennel for a period of ten
23days.

24(f) Exemption.--

25(1) An exemption from vaccination against rabies for a
26dog or cat under subsection (a) may be granted if a licensed
27veterinarian examined <-examines the dog or cat and determines
28that it would be medically contraindicated to vaccinate.

29(2) An exemption statement must be completed and signed
30by the veterinarian and dog or cat owner and must contain the

1following information in order to be valid:

2(i) the signature of the veterinarian and the
3veterinarian's license number;

4(ii) the date;

5(iii) the name and address of the veterinary
6practice, office or clinic;

7(iv) an explanation of the medical reason
8contraindicating vaccination <-against rabies; and

9(v) a description of the dog or cat that includes:

10(A) breed;

11(B) sex;

12(C) age;

13(D) color and markings;

14(E) whether the dog or cat is intact, neutered
15or spayed; and

16(F) the current license number of the dog that
17includes any tattoo or microchip <-permanent
18identification, if applicable.

19(vi) The signature of the owner of the dog or cat 
20and the address of the owner. If there is more than one 
21owner, and the owners are living at separate locations 
22where the dog or cat may be housed, the signature and 
23address of both owners is required.

24(3) A rabies vaccination exemption <-An exemption from
25vaccination against rabies is valid for a period of up to one
26calendar year, after which the dog or cat must shall be
27reexamined. At the reexamination, the dog or cat <-must shall
28either be vaccinated against rabies or, if exemption status
29still applies, a new certificate of exemption must shall be<-
30issued.

1(4) The veterinarian shall maintain the signed exemption
2as part of the medical records and provide two copies to the
3owner. The owner of the dog or cat shall maintain one copy of
4the signed exemption for their records and forward one copy
5to the Pennsylvania Department of Agriculture, Office of Dog
6Law Enforcement, 2301 North Cameron Street, Harrisburg, PA
717110.

<-8(g) The owner or operator of a boarding kennel, as defined
9in section 102 of the act of December 7, 1982 (P.L.784, No.225),
10known as the Dog Law, shall require the owner of each dog for
11which the boarding kennel is taking control to provide proof of
12an up-to-date rabies vaccination at the time the dog enters the
13boarding kennel. The proof of vaccination shall be kept on file
14at the boarding kennel for seven days following the dog's
15departure from the boarding kennel. All rabies vaccination
16records and owner contact information for dogs involved in a dog
17attack at a boarding kennel shall be made available to the
18owners of all dogs that are injured in the dog attack.

<-19Section 5. Section 9 of the act is amended to read:

20Section 9. [Antirabies clinics.

21The department shall assist in the establishment of low-cost
22antirabies clinics. These clinics shall be offered at locations
23and on dates as appropriate. The department shall establish
24vaccination procedures for cats and dogs to be used at the
25clinics. In assisting in the establishment of antirabies
26clinics, the department shall cooperate with local veterinarians
27and other local organizations.] (Reserved).

28Section 6. Section 9.1 of the act, added July 1, 1987
29(P.L.184, No.23), is amended to read:

30Section 9.1. <-[Veterinarians participating in low-cost rabies

1clinics.

2(a) General rule.--Except as otherwise provided in this
3section, no veterinarian or an assistant under <-[the direction of
4the veterinarian<-] direct veterinary supervision shall be liable
5to any person for civil damages as a result of any acts or
6omissions committed as a participant in a low-cost rabies clinic
7established under section 9, unless the conduct of the
8veterinarian falls below the standards generally practiced and
9accepted in like circumstances by veterinarians performing the
10same or similar acts, and unless it is shown that the
11veterinarian did an act or omitted the doing of an act which the
12veterinarian was under a recognized duty to another to do,
13knowing or having reason to know that the act or omission
14created a risk of actual harm to the person or property of
15another. It shall be insufficient to impose liability to
16establish only that the conduct of the veterinarian fell below
17ordinary standards of care.

18(b) Exception.--Nothing in this section shall be construed
19as affecting or modifying any existing legal basis for
20determining the liability, or any defense thereto, of a
21veterinarian set forth in the act of December 27, 1974 (P.L.995,
22No.326), known as the Veterinary Medicine Practice Act.<-] 
23(Reserved).

24Section <-7 5. Section 10 of the act is amended to read:

25Section 10. [Powers and duties of department relating to
26wildlife.

27(a) Powers and duties.--The department shall develop,
28administer and enter into a contract with Wistar Institute for a
29comprehensive multiyear wildlife vaccine research program, which
30may include, but not be limited to, the following:

1(1) The identification of an appropriate wildlife
2vaccine.

3(2) The development of effective bait attractants for
4wildlife in the field.

5(3) Assessment of the duration of the immunity of the
6animal, once vaccinated, as well as the effects of the
7vaccine on wildlife, its safety and stability, and the
8economics of vaccine production.

9(4) The identification and development of a distribution
10system for the dissemination of the bait in rural and urban
11environment.

12(b) Monitoring and reporting of research activity.--

13(1) Annually, the department in conjunction with the
14Wistar Institute shall provide to the General Assembly a
15status report of the research activity conducted from the
16prior year. The status report shall contain a summary of the
17research and the dollars expended.

18(2) Prior to the distribution of the bait in rural and
19urban environments, a comprehensive report outlining the
20distribution procedure must be submitted to the General
21Assembly for review.

22(c) Commission cooperation.--The Pennsylvania Game
23Commission shall cooperate with the department in carrying out
24the research activities required by this section.] (Reserved).

25Section 8 6. This act shall take effect <-in 60 days. as 
26follows:

27(1) The addition of section 8(g) of the act shall take
28effect immediately.

29(2) This section shall take effect immediately.

30(3) The remainder of this act shall take effect in 60

1days.

 

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