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Introduced Version House Bill 4407 History

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hb4407 intr
H. B. 4407


(By Delegates Guthrie, Butcher and Manypenny)

[Introduced February 9, 2010 ; referred to the

Committee on Agriculture then the Judiciary.]





A BILL to amend and reenact §19-20A-2 and §19-20A-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended; and to amend said code by adding thereto a new section, designated §19-20A-4a, all relating to rabies vaccination of dogs and cats; requiring that administered rabies vaccinations be capable of producing immunity for three years; requiring dogs and cats to be revaccinated every three years; and allowing for letters of exemption from rabies vaccination for medical reasons.

Be it enacted by the Legislature of West Virginia:

That §19-20A-2 and §19-20A-5 of the Code of West Virginia, 1931, as amended, be amended and reenacted; and that said code be amended by adding thereto a new section, designated §19-20A-4a, all to read as follows:

ARTICLE 20A. VACCINATION OF DOGS AND CATS FOR RABIES.

§19-20A-2. Vaccination of dogs and cats.

Whoever owns, keeps or harbors a dog or cat within the boundaries of any county in the state of West Virginia shall on or before June 1, 1987 have such dog or cat properly vaccinated or immunized against rabies with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for two three years and shall every second third year thereafter have such the dog or cat revaccinated with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for two three years. After June 1, 1987, Whoever obtains an unvaccinated dog or cat shall at once have such the dog or cat properly vaccinated against rabies with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for two three years and shall have such vaccination repeated every second third year with a vaccine capable of producing immunity for two three years: Provided, That dogs and cats need not be vaccinated before the age of three months, but must be vaccinated by the age of six months: Provided, however, That dogs and cats entering the State of West Virginia temporarily cannot be kept and maintained within the State of West Virginia for a period of more than thirty days unless properly vaccinated. Anyone owning a dog or cat can have them vaccinated by any veterinarian or person working with or under such a veterinarian, or if there be no resident veterinarian in the county, by such any other qualified person as may be appointed by the county commission who shall work works under the supervision of the county health department.
§19-20A-5. Type of vaccine to be furnished; fee.
It shall be is the duty of the veterinarian, or person vaccinating each animal to furnish vaccine of a type capable of establishing and maintaining immunity for a period of not less than twenty-four thirty-six months and he or she shall charge and collect a fee of not more than $8 for each animal vaccinated, if done at a clinic established by a county commission or, if vaccinated at any other place, he or she shall charge and collect a reasonable fee for his or her services.
§19-20A-4a. Exemption of dogs for medical reasons.
(a) A letter of exemption from rabies vaccination may be obtained if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog or cat. Qualifying letters must be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the dog or cat and the medical reason that precludes vaccination. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter shall indicate a time of expiration of the exemption.
(b) The owner of the animal shall retain the original letter of exemption in his or her records. Copies of the letter or a computer printout that contains the information required in subsection (a) shall be filed with the veterinarian who signed the letter of exemption and the clerk of the county commission in the county where the owner of the animal resides.
(c) A dog exempted under subsection (a) of this subsection is considered unvaccinated in the case of that dog or cat's exposure to a confirmed or suspect rabid animal.


NOTE: The purpose of this bill is to update the law regarding the rabies vaccinations of dogs and cats.

Strike-throughs indicate language that would be stricken from the present law, and underscoring indicates new language that would be added.
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