AVMA updates model document for rabies control laws

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Horse with cat - photo with photo credit

A key AVMA resource that aids policymakers in crafting laws to control rabies has been updated with new guidance and is available on the AVMA website.

Among other changes, the updated AVMA Model Rabies Control Document indicates for the first time that horses and other equids should be vaccinated against rabies. It also provides differentiated guidance for post-exposure management of companion animals believed to have been exposed to rabies, depending on their rabies vaccination status.

Additional updates include: 

  • Definitions for equid, livestock, and rabies vector species 
  • Distinguishing between isolation and quarantine
  • Adding testing requirements for rabies vector species, as well as exposed animals

Previously known as the Model Rabies Control Ordinance, the document is a critical resource that helps state and local governments write or rewrite rabies control laws. Through it, the AVMA makes veterinary expertise available to support policymakers in this important work that affects veterinarians, our patients, our clients, and the public. The document was updated by the AVMA Council on Public Health.

Rabies resources for veterinarians

The AVMA also provides a suite of resources to help veterinary teams educate clients and others about rabies. These include four client education posters available for anyone in the profession to download free of charge, social media images for use by AVMA members, a sharable infographic, client brochures in English and Spanish, and more. Find them all at avma.org/Rabies.


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