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    PROPOSAL
    Maryland Register
    Issue Date:  December 9, 2016
    Volume 43 • Issue 25• Pages 1392—1393
     
    Title 10
    DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH AND MENTAL HYGIENE
    Subtitle 06 DISEASES
    10.06.02 Communicable Diseases — Rabies
    Authority: Health-General Article, §§18-102, 18-312—18-313, 18-316, 18-318—18-320, Annotated Code of Maryland
    Notice of Proposed Action
    [16-320-P]
    The Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene proposes to amend Regulations .02, .04, and .13 under COMAR 10.06.02 Communicable Diseases — Rabies.
    Statement of Purpose
    The purpose of this action is to amend this chapter to implement selected aspects of the updated version of the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, 2016 published by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. These changes include reducing the minimum time for strict quarantine of a domestic animal that has been exposed to a rabid animal from 6 to 4 months according to the updated Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control, and replacing the term “isolation” with “quarantine” to refer to the action taken when animals have been exposed to rabies, but have not developed clinical illness.
    Comparison to Federal Standards
    There is no corresponding federal standard to this proposed action.
    Estimate of Economic Impact
    The proposed action has no economic impact.
    Economic Impact on Small Businesses
    The proposed action has minimal or no economic impact on small businesses.
    Impact on Individuals with Disabilities
    The proposed action has no impact on individuals with disabilities.
    Opportunity for Public Comment
    Comments may be sent to Michele Phinney, Director, Office of Regulation and Policy Coordination, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, 201 West Preston Street, Room 512, Baltimore, MD 21201, or call 410-767-6499 (TTY 800-735-2258), or email to dhmh.regs@maryland.gov, or fax to 410-767-6483. Comments will be accepted through January 9, 2017. A public hearing has not been scheduled.
    .02 Definitions.
    A. (text unchanged)
    B. Terms Defined.
    (1)—(20) (text unchanged)
    (21) “Provoked [bite]” means [a] that bite or non-bite contact from an animal [that] resulted from human activity, such as an individual attempting to play with, pet, feed, handle, hold, harm, or redirect an animal’s actions.
    (22)—(26) (text unchanged)
    (27) “Serologic monitoring” means monitoring of a dog or cat that was previously vaccinated against rabies to see if the animal demonstrates sufficient evidence of an immune response within seven days of being vaccinated against rabies.
    [(27)] (28) (text unchanged)
    [(28)] (29) “Strict [isolation] quarantine” means that:
    (a)—(d) (text unchanged)
    [(29)] (30)[(30)] (31) (text unchanged)
    .04 Animal Rabies.
    A. (text unchanged)
    B. Disposition of a Suspected Rabid Animal —— No Bite or Non-Bite Human Contact.
    (1) Dogs, Cats, and Ferrets.
    (a) Except as provided in §B(3) of this regulation, the director of a Department-approved facility shall hold in strict [isolation] quarantine, in a manner and place as established by the local health officer or the Public Health Veterinarian, any dog, cat, or ferret suspected of having rabies that has not had bite or non-bite contact with an individual in the preceding 10 days.
    (b) Except as provided in §B(3) of this regulation, unless otherwise specified by the Public Health Veterinarian, the director of a Department-approved facility shall continue the strict [isolation] quarantine of the suspected rabid animal for at least 10 days and maintain proper, humane care of the animal during the period of [isolation] strict quarantine, after which the animal may be humanely killed or released to its owner or custodian or for adoption.
    (c) At any time during the [isolation] strict quarantine period, the local health officer, the Public Health Veterinarian, the owner, or the custodian of the animal may direct that the animal suspected of having rabies be humanely killed for the purpose of rabies testing.
    (d) At any time during the [isolation] strict quarantine period, the owner or custodian of the animal may direct that the animal be humanely killed.
    (e) (text unchanged)
    (2) Livestock.
    (a) Except as provided in §B(3) of this regulation, the Public Health Veterinarian shall direct the owner or custodian of livestock that has not had bite or non-bite contact with an individual and is suspected of having rabies to hold the livestock in strict [isolation] quarantine for at least 10 days and shall designate the place and manner in which the strict [isolation] quarantine is to be carried out, after which the livestock may be humanely killed or released to the owner or custodian.
    (b) At any time during the strict [isolation] quarantine period, the local health officer, the Public Health Veterinarian, the owner, or the custodian of the animal may direct that the animal be humanely killed for the purpose of rabies testing.
    (c) At any time during the [isolation] strict quarantine period, the owner or custodian of the animal may direct that the animal be humanely killed.
    (d) (text unchanged)
    (3) Wild Animals.
    (a)—(b) (text unchanged)
    (c) If an owner or custodian of the wild animal claims the animal within 24 hours, the Public Health Veterinarian may order the owner to hold the animal in strict [isolation] quarantine in a place and manner determined by the Public Health Veterinarian for at least 30 days, after which it may be released to the owner or custodian if the animal has not developed rabies.
    (d) At any time during the [isolation] strict quarantine period, the local health officer, the Public Health Veterinarian, or the owner or custodian of the animal may direct that the animal be humanely killed for the purpose of rabies testing.
    C. (text unchanged)
    D. Disposition of an Animal Exposed to a Rabid Animal or to an Animal Suspected of Having Rabies.
    (1) If the owner or custodian of a domestic animal that has been exposed to a rabid animal, or to an animal suspected of having rabies, is able to provide a current or expired rabies vaccination certificate for the animal, the owner or custodian shall:
    (a) (text unchanged)
    (b) [Hold the animal in quarantine] Keep the animal under the owner or custodian’s control and observed for 45 calendar days or for such time as specified by the Public Health Veterinarian.
    (2) If the owner or custodian of a domestic animal that has been exposed to a rabid animal, or to an animal suspected of having rabies, is unable to provide a current or expired rabies vaccination certificate [but has an expired rabies vaccination certificate, the local health officer or animal control authority shall consult with the Public Health Veterinarian to determine the disposition of the animal considering the:
    (a) Animal’s:
    (i) Age;
    (ii) Health status; and
    (iii) Number of prior vaccinations;
    (b) Severity of the exposure; and
    (c) Time elapsed since last rabies vaccination.
    (3) If the owner or custodian of a domestic animal that has been exposed to a rabid animal, or to an animal suspected of having rabies, is unable to provide any rabies vaccination certificate, the]:
    (a) The owner or custodian shall:
    [(a)] (i) (text unchanged)
    [(b)] (ii) Have the animal vaccinated against rabies immediately, and hold [the animal] dogs and cats in strict [isolation] quarantine for a minimum of [6] 4 months and other animals in strict quarantine for a minimum of 6 months in a facility and a manner approved by the Public Health Veterinarian; or
    (b) The local health officer or animal control authority may consult with the Public Health Veterinarian to determine if serologic monitoring can be used to keep a dog or cat under the owner or custodian’s control and observed for 45 calendar days rather than under strict quarantine for 4 months if the owner or custodian of a dog or cat states that the dog or cat was previously vaccinated.
    [(4)] (3) The owner or custodian of a domestic animal that is being held in strict [isolation or] quarantine is responsible for all costs related to [isolation or] strict quarantine of the animal.
    [(5)] (4) The local health officer [or], the Public Health Veterinarian, or the local animal control authority may make inspections of the site where an animal is being held in strict [isolation] quarantine to assure that the animal is being held in [isolation] strict quarantine under the terms specified in this chapter.
    [(6)] (5) The local health officer or the Public Health Veterinarian may order the humane killing for rabies testing of an animal exposed to a rabid animal or to an animal suspected of having rabies if:
    (a) The [isolation] strict quarantine agreement defined in Regulation .02B(28) of this chapter is violated;
    (b)—(f) (text unchanged)
    .13 Disposition of Animals by Animal Shelters, Pounds, or Veterinarians.
    A. (text unchanged)
    B. Except as provided in §C of this regulation, if the animal has had bite or non-bite contact with an individual within the time periods specified in §A of this regulation, the animal shelter, pound, or veterinarian shall:
    (1) (text unchanged)
    (2) If the animal is a wild animal, immediately humanely kill the animal and submit its [brain] head for rabies testing.
    C. (text unchanged)
    VAN T. MITCHELL
    Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene