H. B. 4407
(By Delegates Guthrie, Butcher and Manypenny)
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
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.
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
t wenty-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