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An Act to amend and reenact 3.2-6521 of the Code of Virginia, relating to animal care; rabies vaccination.
[H 322]
Approved March 29, 2010


Be it enacted by the General Assembly of Virginia:

1. That 3.2-6521 of the Code of Virginia is amended and reenacted as follows:

3.2-6521. Rabies inoculation of dogs and domesticated cats; availability of certificate; rabies clinics.

A. The owner or custodian of all dogs and domesticated cats four months of age and older shall have them currently vaccinated for rabies by a licensed veterinarian or licensed veterinary technician who is under the immediate and direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian on the premises. The supervising veterinarian on the premises shall provide the owner of the dog or the custodian of the domesticated cat with a certificate of vaccination. The owner of the dog or the custodian of the domesticated cat shall furnish within a reasonable period of time, upon the request of an animal control officer, humane investigator, law-enforcement officer, State Veterinarian's representative, or official of the Department of Health, the certificate of vaccination for such dog or cat. The vaccine used shall be licensed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture for use in that species.

B. Rabies clinics, approved by the appropriate health department and governing body, shall be held at least once per year when the governing body finds that the number of resident veterinarians is otherwise inadequate to meet the need.

C. Vaccination subsequent to a summons to appear before a court for failure to do so shall not operate to relieve such owner from the penalties or court costs provided under 16.1-69.48:1 or 17.1-275.7.

D. The Board of Health shall, by regulation, provide an exemption to the requirements of subsection A if an animal suffers from an underlying medical condition that is likely to result in a life-threatening condition in response to vaccination and such exemption would not risk public health and safety. For the purposes of 3.2-6522, such exemption shall mean that the animal is considered not currently vaccinated for rabies. For the purposes of 3.2-5902, 3.2-6526, and 3.2-6527, such exemption shall be considered in place of a current certificate of vaccination.

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