Public Health Law, Article 21, Title 4: Rabies

Notice

The information contained on this website is not the official version of the New York State Public Health Law. No representation is made as to its accuracy. To ensure accuracy and for evidentiary purposes, reference should be made to the official version available on the New York State Legislature Web site. Click on the link for "Laws of New York" and then the link for "PBH Public Health".

                                

§ 2140. Definitions. For the purpose of this title:
    1.  "Actively  immunized" shall mean that the animal has been injected
  with a rabies vaccine suitable  to  the  species  and  which  meets  the
  standards  prescribed by the United States department of agriculture for
  interstate  sale  and  which   was   administered   according   to   the
  manufacturer's  instructions  under  the  direction  of  a duly licensed
  veterinarian not later than the expiration date on the  package.  Active
  immunization  shall begin fourteen days following primary vaccination or
  immediately following a booster vaccination, and continue for the period
  stated in the manufacturer's instructions.
    2. "County" shall mean a county of the state other than those  in  the
  city of New York.
    3. "County health authority" shall mean the county health agency.
    4.  "Domestic  livestock"  includes  cattle,  goats,  horses, donkeys,
  mules, sheep, and swine.
    5. "Certificate of immunization" shall mean a signed statement  issued
  by  the  veterinarian  containing  the  following  information: name and
  address of the owner, date or dates  of  vaccination,  type  of  vaccine
  administered   and   duration   of   immunity,   amount  and  manner  of
  administration, name of manufacturer of the vaccine, and the lot  number
  and  expiration date of the vaccine. The certificate of immunization for
  domestic  livestock  may  include  multiple  animals.  The   system   of
  identification applicable to the livestock is to be used.
    6.  "Owner" shall mean any person keeping, harboring, or having charge
  or control of, or permitting any dog,  cat  or  domesticated  ferret  to
  remain  on  or  be  lodged  or  fed within such person's house, yard, or
  premises.    This  term  shall  not  apply  to  veterinarians  or  other
  facilities  temporarily  maintaining  on  their  premises  dogs, cats or
  domesticated ferrets owned by others for periods of no  more  than  four
  months  or  to  the  owner  or occupant of property inhabited by a feral
  animal.
    7. "Confinement and observation" refers to the conditions under  which
  apparently  healthy  dogs,  cats,  domesticated  ferrets,  and  domestic
  livestock,  which  are  not  exhibiting  symptoms  of  rabies,  must  be
  maintained  to determine rabies status if such an animal has potentially
  exposed a person to rabies, and the owner wishes  to  avoid  euthanizing
  and  testing the animal. If the county health authority does not approve
  home confinement, the ten day confinement and  observation  period  must
  take  place,  at  owner's expense, at an appropriate facility such as an
  animal shelter, veterinarian's office, kennel or farm.  The  confinement
  must  include  (i) provisions to prevent escape of the animal during the
  confinement period and (ii)  requirements  that  the  owner  notify  the
  public health authority immediately if the animal becomes ill at anytime
  during   confinement,  and  (iii)  verification  by  the  county  health
  authority or their designee at the end of the ten day  period  that  the
  animal  is  healthy.  If  a  police  work dog bites an individual in the
  course of such dog's official duty the police department may apply for a
  waiver from confinement from the local department of health. As part  of
  such  application  for a waiver, the police department shall provide the
  local health department with records of such dog's past vaccination  for
  rabies and proof that such dog's rabies vaccinations are up-to-date.
    8.  "Quarantine"  refers  to  a  six  month  period of restriction for
  animals which are not actively immunized against rabies  and  have  been
  exposed  to  a  potentially  rabid animal, in accordance with applicable
  regulations of the department. The quarantine must include provisions to
  prevent escape of  the  animal  during  the  quarantine  period  and  to
  minimize  contacts  with  humans and other animals, and these provisions
  must be verified by the county health authority during and at the end of
  the six month period.
    9.  "Local  residence",  under  the  conditions hereinafter specified,
  shall mean any person who has his or her  primary  residence,  secondary
  residence,  vacation  home or school within a county of the state of New
  York shall be deemed to have local residence in such county.
    10. "Qualification on residence." Local residence  shall  not  include
  residence:
    (a) as an inmate of any state or federal prison, or
    (b) on a military reservation.
    11.  "Initial  treatment  after  human  exposure to rabies" shall mean
  administration of the first postexposure dose  of  rabies  vaccine  and,
  when necessary, administration of rabies immune globulin.
    12. "Animal control officer" shall mean one or more persons designated
  by  the  county  health  authority  as  having responsibility for animal
  control issues in the county. This responsibility may  be  delegated  to
  others  such  as  cities  and  towns,  law  enforcement agencies, animal
  shelters, or private nuisance control officers.
    13. "Feral animal" shall mean any cat, dog or ferret that is  born  in
  the  wild  and  is not socialized, is the offspring of an owned or feral
  cat, dog or ferret and is not socialized, or is a  formerly  owned  cat,
  dog or ferret that has been abandoned and is no longer socialized.

§  2141.  Compulsory  vaccination.  1. Every dog, cat and domesticated
  ferret shall be actively immunized against  rabies  in  accordance  with
  regulations   promulgated  by  the  commissioner.  Every  dog,  cat  and
  domesticated ferret shall have all initial vaccinations administered  no
  later  than  four  months  after  birth. Every dog, cat and domesticated
  ferret shall have a second vaccination within one  year  of  the  first.
  Terms of subsequent vaccine administration and duration of immunity must
  be  in  compliance with USDA licenses of vaccines used. The veterinarian
  immunizing or supervising any person authorized by law to immunize  such
  animal  shall  provide  the  owner  with  a  certificate of immunization
  consistent with the requirements of section  one  hundred  nine  of  the
  agriculture  and markets law. The veterinarian immunizing or supervising
  any person authorized by law to immunize such animal shall  provide  any
  public  health official with the certificate of immunization in any case
  involving a dog, cat or domesticated ferret which has been or  may  have
  been  exposed  to rabies or in any case of possible exposure of a person
  or another animal to rabies.
    2. Subdivision one of this section shall not apply to any feral animal
  or any dog, cat or domesticated ferret:
    (a) that is transported through the state and  remains  in  the  state
  fifteen days or fewer;
    (b) confined to the premises of an incorporated society devoted to the
  care of lost, stray or homeless animals;
    (c)  for  which  vaccination against rabies would adversely affect the
  animal's health, as determined by a licensed veterinarian; or
    (d) confined for the purposes of research to the premises of a college
  or other educational or research institution.
    3. (a) Every  veterinarian  providing  treatment  to  a  dog,  cat  or
  domesticated   ferret   shall   verify,  in  accordance  with  standards
  established by the commissioner, if such animal  is  actively  immunized
  against  rabies  or  is exempt under subdivision two of this section. If
  active immunization or exemption cannot be  verified,  the  veterinarian
  shall immunize the animal at the owner's request.
    (b)  If the animal is exempt from the provisions of subdivision one of
  this section, pursuant to paragraph  (c)  of  subdivision  two  of  this
  section,  the  veterinarian  shall  provide the owner of the dog, cat or
  domesticated ferret with a certified statement verifying that the animal
  is exempt from immunization because  the  immunization  would  adversely
  affect  the  health of the animal, and verifying the nature and duration
  of such exemption. The certified statement shall be in a form prescribed
  by the commissioner and shall be consistent  with  the  requirements  of
  section  one  hundred  nine  of the agriculture and markets law. Medical
  exemptions are to be renewed on an annual basis.
    4. The owning of a dog, cat or domesticated ferret by  any  person  in
  violation  of  subdivision  one  of  this  section  shall  constitute  a
  violation, and shall be subject to a fine  not  to  exceed  two  hundred
  dollars for each offense.

§  2142.  Rabies;  emergency  provisions.  Whenever  the  commissioner
  confirms an outbreak of the disease rabies in terrestrial animals in any
  county or the vicinity thereof, the commissioner shall declare a  rabies
  alert  for  that  area  and  so  certify  to  the county or local health
  authorities or any local health district contained therein. It shall  be
  the  duty of the health officials to immediately and annually thereafter
  publish a notice of the  existence  of  the  disease,  together  with  a
  summary  of  the  provisions  of  this  title,  in a newspaper generally
  circulated within the county  or  local  health  district,  or  to  post
  notices in several conspicuous places, or both. Such certification shall
  remain  in  force  until such time as the commissioner confirms that the
  outbreak is over.

§   2143.   Rabies;   seizure  and  disposal;  reports.  Whenever  the
  commissioner certifies a county to  have  a  rabies  alert  pursuant  to
  section  twenty-one  hundred forty-two of this title, any duly appointed
  dog control officer,  animal  control  officer,  peace  officer,  police
  officer,  or health officer for that area may seize and confine any dog,
  cat or domesticated ferret found at large and may destroy a dog, cat  or
  domesticated ferret found at large that is exhibiting symptoms of rabies
  and  cannot  be  seized  without  placing  any person at serious risk of
  physical injury. Any duly appointed  person  who  seizes,  confines,  or
  destroys  a  dog,  cat  or  domesticated ferret pursuant to this section
  shall immediately report in writing the facts relating  thereto  to  the
  county or local health authority.

§ 2144. Rabies; county responsibility. Each county health authority is
  required  to  develop  a  rabies  control  protocol  that identifies and
  coordinates  all  activities  within  the   county   to   accomplish   a
  comprehensive  rabies  response.  The county health authority shall have
  responsibility for the implementation of  the  protocol,  including  the
  coordination  of  the response to rabies issues by other local agencies.
  This protocol must be approved by the department and revised and updated
  as directed by the department.

§  2145.  Rabies;  services and expenses of suppression. 1. The county
  health authority is responsible for the services and expenses  necessary
  for  the  suppression of human rabies. Suppression of human rabies shall
  include, but not be limited to:
    (a) availability at all times for prompt investigation of  reports  of
  possible  exposures  to  rabies  of  people, pets, or domestic livestock
  occurring within the county,  and  to  render  authorization  for  human
  postexposure treatment,
    (b)  making  arrangements  for  appropriate disposition of the animals
  involved,   including   confinement   and   observation,    quarantines,
  vaccination boosters, or euthanasia and testing,
    (c)  collection,  preparation  and submission of animal specimens to a
  laboratory approved by the commissioner for rabies diagnosis,
    (d) verifying terms of confinement, observation and quarantines,
    (e) authorized  human  postexposure  treatment  under  the  conditions
  hereinafter   specified,   except   that   third   party   coverage   or
  indemnification shall first be applied against the  cost  of  treatment,
  and
    (f)  operation  of rabies vaccination clinics free of charge for dogs,
  cats and domesticated ferrets owned by persons with local residence.
    2. Under the conditions specified below, the county  health  authority
  is  responsible  for  authorized  human  postexposure  treatment for all
  persons exposed within the county, regardless of  the  location  of  the
  person's  residence;  except  in  any  case where the person's county of
  residence has agreed to be responsible for such treatment in  accordance
  with  the  provisions of this title. In addition, for persons with local
  residence who are exposed to rabies in New York city or  out  of  state,
  the county health authority is responsible for that portion of treatment
  that occurs after such persons return to their local residences.
    3.  Human postexposure treatment specifically authorized by the county
  health authority shall be rendered by the provider or providers selected
  by the county  health  authority,  located  within  the  county  or  the
  vicinity  thereof, and approved by the person's health insurance carrier
  or managed care plan if pre-approval is required by the health insurance
  carrier or managed care plan, provided that:
    (a) any person may, at his or her option, be treated at his or her own
  expense by the health care provider of his or her choice,
    (b) the county health authority may, at its option,  assume  financial
  responsibility for necessary treatment rendered by other providers,
    (c)  the  county  shall authorize initial treatment from a provider or
  providers geographically accessible  to  the  location  of  the  exposed
  person at the time that treatment is determined to be necessary, and
    (d)  the county shall authorize post-initial treatment from a provider
  or providers geographically accessible to the exposed person's residence
  if the person returns to his or  her  residence  during  the  course  of
  treatment.
    4. Consent by any person to human postexposure treatment authorized by
  the  county  health  authority  shall constitute assignment of any third
  party health benefits to the county health authority and permission  for
  the  person's health care and insurance providers to release medical and
  financial information regarding  the  treatment  to  the  county  health
  authority.
    5.  Health care and insurance providers shall comply with any requests
  by  the  county  health  authority  for  information   regarding   human
  postexposure  treatment  rendered  to  an  enrollee  whose treatment was
  authorized by the county health authority.
    6. Under the terms of this title, the county health authority  is  not
  responsible for:
    (a)  services  and  expenses of human postexposure treatment that were
  not specifically authorized by the county health authority,  except  for
  completion  of  treatment  for  their  residents  exposed and started on
  rabies treatment in New York city  or  elsewhere  outside  of  New  York
  state,
    (b)  services  and  expenses  of  medical  treatment  unrelated to the
  prevention of rabies infection such as wound suturing  and  measures  to
  control bacterial infection of bite wounds, and
    (c) expenses of preexposure rabies vaccination.
    7.  A  clinic  for  rabies vaccination for dogs, cats and domesticated
  ferrets of persons with local residence  shall  be  conducted  at  least
  every  four  months  within the county under the direction of the county
  government, by the health officials of the county and the several  local
  health  districts  within  a  county. Donations may be requested but not
  required at the clinics. Any listing of costs in clinic announcements or
  advertisements must indicate that vaccinations  are  available  free  of
  charge,  and  that  donations are optional. Counties may at their option
  provide vaccination clinic services to persons without county residence,
  and may require a fee based on cost from these persons.
    8. Claims for services and expenses, approved by the county  shall  be
  paid  by  the  fiscal  officer  of  the  county from funds in his or her
  custody upon presentation of such claim, without further or other  audit
  or may be paid pursuant to the local finance law.



§  2146.  City of New York; exceptions. The provisions of sections two
  thousand one hundred forty through two thousand one  hundred  forty-five
  of this title, inclusive, shall not apply to the city of New York.