10.06.02.10

.10 Vaccination of Animals.

A. An owner or custodian of a dog, cat, or ferret shall have that animal adequately vaccinated against rabies by the time the dog, cat, or ferret is 4 months old.

B. Vaccination Documentation.

(1) Except for a local animal control authority, an owner or custodian of an animal required to be licensed or registered shall have the animal adequately vaccinated and shall obtain a valid rabies vaccination certificate on the form specified by the Department. The certificate shall be completed and signed by a Maryland-licensed veterinarian or, in the case of public antirabies clinics, the certificate may be issued under the authority of the Public Health Veterinarian, documenting that the animal has been adequately vaccinated against rabies for the period of time covered by the rabies vaccination.

(2) Except for a kennel licensed by the local animal control authority as a boarding kennel, an owner or operator of a kennel shall present, upon the request of the local health officer, Public Health Veterinarian, or local animal control authority, a valid rabies vaccination certificate for each dog, cat, or ferret:

(a) Owned or kept by the kennel; and

(b) That is 4 months old or older.

(3) The Public Health Veterinarian may delay temporarily or indefinitely the rabies vaccination requirement for certain dogs, cats, or ferrets in the interest of public safety or for medical determinations or research.

C. Unless the Public Health Veterinarian has authorized a delay in vaccination, a local animal control authority may not license or register a dog, cat, or ferret without verifying the rabies vaccination status as documented by a current rabies vaccination certificate.

D. Vaccination Certificates.

(1) A vaccine manufacturer shall issue the official National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) Form 51, Rabies Vaccination Certificate, or an equivalent form.

(2) A veterinarian shall administer rabies vaccine to an animal in accordance with the specifications on the vaccine and recommendations for immunization procedures, such as the current Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control.

(3) The veterinarian administering rabies vaccine to an animal shall:

(a) Complete the NASPHV Form 51, or an equivalent form, containing the:

(i) Vaccine manufacturer and lot or serial number;

(ii) Date the vaccine was given;

(iii) Date the next vaccination is due by;

(iv) Signature of the veterinarian and the date the rabies certificate was signed;

(v) Veterinarianís name, address, telephone number, and veterinary license number legibly stamped, typed, or printed;

(vi) Ownerís name, address, and telephone number;

(vii) Rabies tag number; and

(viii) Animalís species, age, weight, predominant breed, and color; and

(4) When vaccine is administered at public antirabies clinics, the local clinic staff shall complete the NASPHV Form 51, or an equivalent form, as directed by the Public Health Veterinarian and provide a copy to the local health officer and the animal owner.

(5) A veterinarian administering rabies vaccine shall maintain copies of vaccination certificates by tag number for a minimum of 5 years following the vaccination of an animal.

(6) An owner or custodian may use the vaccination certificate as proof of vaccination and shall provide it to police, the animal control authority, or health officials upon request.

E. Vaccination Procedures.

(1) A licensed veterinarian may select a rabies vaccine of the veterinarianís choice and use procedures for administering it that are consistent with the recommendations of NASPHV, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control.

(2) The Public Health Veterinarian shall select the vaccine or vaccines to be used in public clinics according to Department procedures.

(3) The Public Health Veterinarian may require specified lots of vaccine to be tested for potency, safety, and contamination as a prerequisite to their use.

(4) Except for veterinary staffing, the public antirabies clinics and the local health officer shall determine all administrative procedures for public antirabies clinics in keeping with the requirements of this chapter.

(5) A vendor of rabies vaccine for animal use shall supply vaccine only to a veterinary biologic supply firm, a Maryland-licensed veterinarian, or the Public Health Veterinarian.

F. Rabies Tags.

(1) The Public Health Veterinarian shall specify annually the size, shape, and color of the rabies tag to be issued by veterinarians and public antirabies clinics.

(2) Public antirabies clinics and veterinarians who provide rabies vaccination services to dogs, cats, and ferrets shall promptly issue to the owner of each vaccinated animal a rabies certificate, tag, and s-shaped metal link for attaching the tag on the animal's collar.

(3) The local health officer shall order rabies tags through the Public Health Veterinarian for use in public antirabies clinics.

G. Antirabies Clinics.

(1) In conjunction with the Department, each local health department shall provide for low-cost, self-financing, antirabies clinics for animals in each county and Baltimore City.

(2) The Department shall assure that at least two clinics are offered annually with at least one to be held between April 1 and July 1 at dates and locations determined by the local health department.

(3) The Public Health Veterinarian shall establish in writing the vaccination procedures to be used at the clinics and distribute these procedures to the local health officers.

(4) The local health departments may establish fees sufficient to cover the costs of operating the clinics.

(5) The local health officer shall report, in the manner specified by the Public Health Veterinarian, data concerning animals vaccinated at each clinic and the related costs.