New York State Sanitary Code

Here are the excerpts of the state laws referred to in this
chapter that are most relevant to NWCOs. This is the way the laws actually
read. Please note: accurate at time of printing but readers should check
for amendments and new laws and regulations.


Part 2 – Section 2.14
Reporting of suspected rabid animals and persons exposed to them.


***Action to be taken by health authority.


(a) Definitions:


1. Health care provider shall mean any person or facility
which gives primary or secondary medical care to humans.


2. Exposure shall mean introduction of the rabies virus into
the body of a human or animal. Any penetration by mouth to the skin of humans
or animals constitutes a bite exposure. A non-bite exposure is a scratch,
abrasion, open wound, or contamination of mucous membranes with saliva or other
potentially infectious material from a rabid animal.


3. Domestic livestock shall mean sheep, horses, cattle,
goats and swine.


4. Current vaccination shall mean the administration of a
rabies vaccine suitable to the species, which meets the standards prescribed by
the United States Department of Agriculture for interstate sale and is administered
according to the manufacturer’s instructions under the direction of a duly
licensed veterinarian not later than the expiration date on the package.
Current vaccination shall begin 14 days following primary vaccination, and
continue for the period stated in the manufacturer’s instructions.


5. Approved vaccine shall mean any rabies vaccine which
meets the standards prescribed by the United States Department of Agriculture
for interstate sale.


(b) It shall be the duty of every health care provider to
report immediately to the local health authority having jurisdiction the full
name, age, address and telephone number of any person under his care or
observation who has been exposed to any animal suspected by the health care
provider of having rabies and all pertinent facts relating to such exposure.
Such notification shall occur prior to starting rabies post-exposure
prophylaxis, except in those cases where prior notification would compromise
the health of the patient.


(c) If no health care provider is in attendance and the
person exposed is a child, it shall be the duty of the parent or guardian to
make such report immediately. If the person exposed is an adult, such person
shall himself make the report, or, if incapacitated, it shall be made by
whomever is caring for such person.


(d) It shall be the duty of every health care provider who
has cause to believe that contact has occurred with a rabid animal or animal
suspected of being rabid by the health care provider which requires rabies
prophylaxis subsequent to the exposure to report the initiation of such
prophylaxis and all pertinent facts relating to any such bite, exposure or
treatment to the local health authority.


(e) It shall be the duty of every person having knowledge of
the existence of an animal exhibiting clinical signs suggestive of rabies to
report immediately to the local health authority the existence of such animal,
the place where seen, the owner’s name, if known, and the signs of infection
suggesting rabies.


(f) Whenever, in accordance with this section, the local
health authority is notified of a person who has been exposed to any dog, cat,
ferret or domestic livestock, vaccinated or not, the local health authority may
cause the animal to be confined for 10 days. Any costs associated with this
confinement shall be an expense of the animal’s owner. Such health authority
may, subject to the approval of the owner, if known, cause the animal to be
destroyed immediately and have the animal’s head submitted to a laboratory
approved by the State Commissioner of Health for examination. The dog, cat,
ferret or domestic livestock whose ownership cannot be determined may be
confined for 10 days, under the direction of the local health authority. Any
costs associated with this confinement shall be an expense of the party seeking
this confinement. Confinement of the animal, in any case, shall be subject to
such conditions and instructions, and under the control of such persons,
including the owner if ascertainable, that the local health authority determines
will reasonably assure the continued confinement of the animal for the
prescribed 10-day period. Should the confined animal develop signs of rabies
within the 10-day period, it shall be destroyed under the direction of the
local health authority and submitted to a laboratory approved by the State
Commissioner of Health for examination. In the case of a dog, cat, ferret or
domestic livestock whose ownership cannot be determined, if confinement is not
possible or desirable, the animal may be destroyed immediately and an
appropriate specimen shall be submitted to a laboratory approved by the State
Commissioner of Health for examination.


(1) Bats and any animal other than a dog, cat, ferret or
domestic livestock suspected of being rabid shall not be held for observation
and shall be destroyed immediately, without injury to the head, and may be
submitted upon approval of the local health authority to a laboratory approved
by the State Commissioner of Health for examination.


(g) Except as hereinafter provided, any mammal which has
been bitten by or in direct contact with a known rabid animal or animal
suspected by the local health authority of being rabid shall be destroyed
unless it shall be isolated for a period of six months either in a veterinary
hospital approved by the local health authority, or in a locked enclosure
approved by the local health authority as being so constructed and maintained
that the animal cannot escape and cannot have contact with any other animal or
human except, when absolutely necessary, with the person responsible for the
care of the confined animal. Quarantine of the animal, in any case, shall be
subject to such conditions and instructions, and under the control of such
persons, including the owner if ascertainable, that the health authority
determines will reasonably assure the continued quarantine of the animal for
the prescribed six-month period. The expense of such isolation shall be borne
by the owner. Any animal currently vaccinated as defined in this section, prior
to exposure, may remain at large or under the owner’s immediate control as may
be required by local ordinance provided a booster injection of such approved
vaccine is given within five days of the date of exposure.


(h) An animal under such restrictions shall not be removed
from one health district into another prior to the conclusion of the prescribed
isolation period except with the permission of the health authority from whose
district such animal is to be removed and the permission of the health
authority to whose jurisdiction such animal is to be transferred. The former
shall give permission only after securing the consent of the health authority
to whose jurisdiction the animal is to be transferred, except that if removal
is to be to New York City or into another state, he shall give permission only
after securing the consent of the Commissioner of Health of the State of New
York. Such removal shall be by private conveyance, in charge of a responsible
person and conducted in such a manner as to prevent the escape of the animal d and the permission of the health
authority to whose jurisdiction such animal is to be transferred. The former
shall give permission only after securing the consent of the health authority
to whose jurisdiction the animal is to be transferred, except that if removal
is to be to New York City or into another state, he shall give permission only
after securing the consent of the Commissioner of Health of the State of New
York. Such removal shall be by private conveyance, in charge of a responsible
person and conducted in such a manner as to prevent the escape of the animal or
its coming in contact with other animals or persons.


(i) The local health authority shall report forthwith to the
state district health office or county health office having jurisdiction the
name, age and address of every person exposed to any animal suspected of having
rabies, any incident which requires rabies prophylaxis and all the pertinent
facts relating to any such bite, exposure or treatment.


(j) Whenever any animal that has or is suspected of having
rabies dies, or is killed, the local health authority may, at his discretion,
cause the head of such animal to be removed and sent immediately, properly
packed, with a complete history of the case, to a laboratory approved for this
purpose by the State Commissioner of Health for examination.


(k) Whenever the disease rabies is confirmed by the State
Wadsworth Center for Laboratories and Research (http://www.wadsworth.org/rabies/)
in a raccoon in any county of New York State, within 30 days of notice to the
county of the confirmation, all cats residing in the county who are not then
actively immunized as defined in this section must be vaccinated as outlined
below. Such notice will be sent to the county’s local health authority by the
Commissioner of Health. Actively immunized shall mean injection of a rabies
vaccine which meets the standards prescribed by the United States Department of
Agriculture for interstate sale and administered according to the
manufacturer’s instructions under the direction of a duly licensed
veterinarian. All cats in the county, three months of age or over, are to be
vaccinated to prevent rabies. This section shall not apply to cats owned by a
non-resident, while passing through any town, city or village for a period not
exceeding fifteen days, if entered in any exhibition at any cat show therein,
and if confined and in immediate charge of the exhibitor, or to cats actually
confined to the premises of incorporated societies, devoted to the care or
hospital treatment of lost, strayed or homeless animals, or confined to the
premises of public or private hospitals devoted to the treatment of sick
animals, or confined for the purposes of research institutions, or to cats
actually confined to the premises of a person, firm, or corporation actually
engaged in the business of breeding or raising cats for profit and are so
licensed as a class A dealer under the Federal Laboratory Animal Welfare Act,
or if such vaccination would adversely affect the health of the cat as
determined by a duly licensed veterinarian.


The veterinarian either administering the vaccine or
responsible for supervising the vaccination shall give to the owner of the cat
a signed statement. Such statement shall include the following information:
name and address of the owner, date or dates of vaccination together with the
type of vaccine injected and its duration of immunity, amount and manner of
injection, name of manufacturer, lot number and expiration date of the vaccine.
Or, if applicable, the veterinarian shall give the owner of the cat a signed
statement verifying that the cat is exempt because such vaccination would
adversely affect the health of the cat.


Compulsory vaccination shall remain in effect until the
county presents evidence to the Commissioner that it has been one year since
the last confirmed case of rabies in a terrestrial animal species.


Proof of rabies immunization must be shown by the owner to
the local health authority whenever a cat bites a person. If the owner is
unable to show such proof, the local health authority must follow the
procedures outlined in subdivision (f) of this section.


*** See Public Health Law, Sections 2140-2146;


Agriculture and Markets Law, Sections 106-127.


CHANGED EFFECTIVE AUGUST 30, 2000