Read 1st time February 14, 2007 and copies ordered printed.





To amend chapter 322, RSMo, by adding thereto one new section relating to protections against rabies, with a penalty provision.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the state of Missouri, as follows:

            Section A. Chapter 322, RSMo, is amended by adding thereto one new section, to be known as section 322.085, to read as follows:

            322.085. 1. Any dog, cat, or ferret that bites any person shall be placed under observation for the ten-day period immediately following the bite. The currently vaccinated animal shall be taken up and impounded by a licensed veterinarian of the owner's choice or securely confined by the owner for a period of ten days, at the discretion of the local public health agency. The noncurrently vaccinated animal shall be taken up and impounded by the animal control officer in a county pound, a contracted licensed kennel, or with a licensed veterinarian of the owner's choice for a period of ten days from the date of the bite. If, within such ten-day period, such animal does not develop or manifest signs of rabies, the animal may be redeemed by the owner upon the payment of a daily boarding fee or the payment of the usual and customary fees to the contractual animal shelter or pound or to a veterinarian of the owner's choice. If such animal is not redeemed at the end of such ten-day period, the animal shall be humanely euthanized. If such animal does develop signs of rabies, the animal shall be examined by a licensed veterinarian at the owner's expense. If the suspicion of rabies is confirmed by a veterinarian, the dog, cat, or ferret shall be humanely euthanized and the brain tested for rabies virus. Any stray or unwanted dog, cat, or ferret that bites a person shall be euthanized immediately and the head submitted for rabies examination.

            2. Other mammals that bite and possibly expose a person to rabies shall be managed on a case-by-case basis, taking into consideration the species, circumstances of the bite, the incidence of rabies in the area, the biting animal's history, current health status of the animal, and the animal's potential for exposure to rabies. Prior to rabies vaccination of such animals shall not preclude the necessity of euthanasia and testing. The ten-day quarantine period previously noted applies only to dogs, cats, and ferrets. There is no formal quarantine period that applies uniformly to bites from animals other than dogs, cats, and ferrets.

            3. For purposes of this section, the following terms shall mean:

            (1) "Cat", any domestic feline animal (Felis catus);

            (2) "Currently vaccinated against rabies", an animal that has received a primary rabies vaccine or a booster vaccine administered in accordance with the current Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control prepared and updated annually by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. Rabies vaccinations shall be performed by a veterinarian who is licensed or legally permitted to practice veterinary medicine in Missouri.

            4. Any person who violates this section is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.

            (1) "Dog", any domestic canine animal (Canis familiaris);

            (2) "Ferret", any domestic ferret (Mustela putorius);

            (3) "Owner", any person who keeps or harbors an animal, as defined in section 578.005, RSMo. Owner does not apply to veterinarians or kennel operators who have temporary custody for a period of less than sixty days of animals owned by others.