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April 4, 2002
S. Printed 4/4/02--H.
Read the first time June 5, 2001.
TO AMEND CHAPTER 5, TITLE 47, CODE OF LAWS OF SOUTH CAROLINA, 1976, RELATING TO RABIES CONTROL, SO AS TO REVISE DEFINITIONS AND ADD NEW DEFINITIONS, TO PROHIBIT THE SALE OF OFFSPRING BORN TO A CARNIVORE OR OTHER ANIMAL CROSSBRED WITH A WILD CARNIVORE, TO RESTRICT PUBLIC EXHIBITIONS OF WILD CARNIVORES AND OTHER ANIMALS FOR WHICH A RABIES VACCINE DOES NOT EXIST, TO REVISE RABIES REPORTING REQUIREMENTS, TO CHANGE THE TIME WITHIN WHICH A PHYSICIAN IS REQUIRED TO REPORT AN ANIMAL BITE FROM TWELVE HOURS TO THE NEXT WORKING DAY, TO REVISE QUARANTINE REQUIREMENTS, AND TO REVISE THE PUNISHMENT FOR CHAPTER VIOLATIONS TO THE MAXIMUM PENALTIES.
Amend Title To Conform
Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of South Carolina:
SECTION 1. Chapter 5, Title 47 of the 1976 Code is amended to read:
"Section 47-5-10. This chapter may be referred to as the 'Rabies Control Act'.
Whenever As used in this chapter , unless a contrary intention is clearly evident, the following terms shall be interpreted as herein defined:
(1) The term "pet" shall mean only domesticated species of carnivores.
(2) The term "owner" shall mean and include any person who (a) has a right of property in a pet, (b) keeps or harbors a pet or who has it in his care or acts as its custodian, or (c) permits a pet to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.
(3) The term "inoculation against rabies" shall mean the injection, subcutaneously, intramuscularly or otherwise, of antirabic vaccine as approved by the Department of Health and Environmental Control and by the United States Department of Agriculture - Veterinary Biologics Division.
(4) The term "rabies control officer" shall mean any person appointed for the control of rabies with the approval of the State Health Officer under the provisions of this chapter.
(1) 'Carnivore' means a flesh-eating animal and includes those animals known to be reservoirs of rabies including, but not limited to, raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bobcats and related species including but not limited to coyotes, wolves, wolf dogs, weasels, civet cats, spotted skunks, and lynx or the offspring born to any combinations of crossbreeding between these wild animals and domestic dogs or cats.
(2) 'Department' means the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control, including county health departments.
(3) 'Domesticated animal' means owned or stray cats, dogs, and ferrets or other animals for which there exists a rabies vaccine approved by the department and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture.
(4) 'Inoculation against rabies' means the injection, subcutaneously, intramuscularly or otherwise, of antirabic vaccine as approved by the department and by the United States Department of Agriculture.
(5) 'Licensed veterinarian' means a person licensed by law to practice veterinary medicine in this State.
(6) 'Owner' means any person who:
(a) has a right of property in a pet;
(b) keeps or harbors a pet or who has it in his care or acts as its custodian; or
(c) permits a pet to remain on or about any premises occupied by him.
(7) 'Pet' means only domesticated cats, dogs, and ferrets.
(8) 'Quarantine' means a prescribed, restricted confinement of a pet or other animal up to and including a state of enforced isolation. The quarantine is for the purpose of observation of the animal for signs or symptoms, or both, of rabies and for the prevention of potential rabies transmission by the animal to a person, other pets, or other animals. The location, conditions, and length of the quarantine must be prescribed by the department.
Section 47-5-30. The department
of Health and Environmental Control may employ a licensed doctor of veterinary medicine to serve as public health veterinarian of the department of Health and Environmental Control. He shall aid county health departments and rabies control officers in the administration and enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, including the supervision of forms of certificates and tags to effectuate the inoculation program herein provided. He shall aid in the preparation of literature describing the symptoms of rabies and preventive measures to be taken against the spread of rabies, such information to be distributed to pet owners at the time of inoculation of animals, and shall otherwise promote efficiency in the program of inoculation and rabies control herein provided. In addition to the above, he the duties as public health veterinarian, this person shall aid administratively in the prevention and control of all diseases communicable from animal to man which may become prevalent in this State and in combating such disease these diseases, in cooperation with the Department of Natural Resources, the extension service of Clemson University, and any other state or federal agencies engaged in similar efforts to combat diseases communicable from animal to man.
For the purpose of providing proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter, each county board of health shall act as, or appoint annually on or before July first, a licensed graduate veterinarian or other properly qualified person who shall be known as rabies control officer. In those counties in which there is no county board of health, such appointment shall be made by the Department of Health and Environmental Control. Such additional personnel may be appointed and assigned as is deemed necessary. The rabies control officer shall be subject to all rules and regulations for a merit system of personnel administration. The enforcement of the provisions of this chapter must be carried out under the direct supervision of the department. It is unlawful for anyone to obstruct or interfere with the authorized representative of the department as he carries out the provisions of this chapter.
"Section 47-5-50.(a) No carnivores, which normally are not domesticated, may be sold as pets in this State.
The carnivores include animals known to be reservoirs of rabies such as raccoons, foxes, skunks, and bobcats and related species including, but not limited to, coyotes, wolves, weasels, civet cats, spotted skunks, and lynx. An animal provided for in this section and kept A carnivore kept by an individual must not be allowed to run at large and then returned to confinement. A normally wild animal indigenous to this State, if held captive for a period of time, may be released to the wild. This section does not apply to domesticated ferrets. However, no ferret may be sold in this State without proper and current vaccination against rabies. Evidence of rabies vaccination is a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian. A person who purchases or possesses a domesticated ferret shall maintain proper vaccination treatment for it annually.
(B) Purchasers of a domesticated ferret must be provided with a notice not less than eight inches by eleven inches which shall bear the following inscription in letters not less than three-fourths inch high:
'FERRETS HAVE A PROPENSITY TO MAKE UNPROVOKED ATTACKS THAT CAUSE BODILY INJURY TO A HUMAN BEING'.
(C) Each business establishment in this State, to which has been issued a retail sales tax license, which offers ferrets for sale must prominently display a notice not less than eight inches by eleven inches which shall bear the following inscription in letters not less than three-fourths inch high:
'FERRETS HAVE A PROPENSITY TO MAKE UNPROVOKED ATTACKS THAT CAUSE BODILY INJURY TO A HUMAN BEING.'
(D) This section does not apply to the sale, purchase, donation, or transfer of ownership of carnivores between publicly-owned zoos or animal dealers located in this State and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) under the Animal Welfare Act on the effective date of this chapter. These exemptions do not allow for the sale, purchase, donation, or transfer of ownership to private individuals in this State. Any public display, showing, or exhibition of wild carnivores, primates, or any other animals for which a USDA licensed rabies vaccine does not exist are allowed only when these displays, showings, or exhibitions prevent any possible contact by these animals with the members of the general public."
Section 47-5-60. A pet owner must have
it its pet inoculated against rabies at a frequency to provide continuous protection of the pet from rabies using a vaccine approved by the department and licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture - Veterinary Biologics Division. Evidence of rabies inoculation is a certificate signed by a licensed veterinarian. The rabies vaccination certificate forms may be provided by the licensed veterinarian or by the department or its designee. The veterinarian may stamp or write his name and address on the certificate. The certificate must include information recommended by the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians. The licensed veterinarian administering the vaccine shall provide one copy of the certificate to the owner of the pet and must retain one copy in his files for not less than three years. With the issuance of the certificate, the licensed veterinarian shall furnish a serially numbered metal license tag bearing the same number and year as the certificate with the name and telephone number of the veterinarian, veterinary hospital, or practice. The metal license tag at all times must be attached to a collar or harness worn by the pet for which the certificate and tag have been issued. Annually before February first, the veterinarian shall report to the department the number of animals inoculated against rabies during the preceding year. The department, in conjunction with licensed veterinarians, shall promote annual rabies clinics. The fee for rabies inoculation at these clinics may not exceed three dollars, including the cost of the vaccine, and this charge must be paid by the pet owner. Fees collected by veterinarians at these clinics are their compensation.
Whenever a pet or other animal is affected by rabies or suspected of being affected by rabies or has been bitten by an animal known or suspected to be affected by rabies the owner of the animal or any person having knowledge thereof shall forthwith notify the county health department in the county in which the animal is located, stating precisely where the animal may be found. A pet owner or any other person shall notify the county health department if:
(1) a pet or other animal is affected by rabies;
(2) a pet or other animal is suspected of having rabies; or
(3) a pet has been attacked or bitten by a domesticated or wild animal known or suspected of being affected by rabies.
This notice must include the location where the pet or other animal was last seen or where it may possibly be found, or both.
Section 47-5-90. Every physician after his first professional attendance upon a person bitten by a pet or other animal shall
within twelve hours by the end of the next working day report the bite to the county health department and the name, age, sex, color and precise location weight, address, and telephone number of the person so bitten and, when. If no physician attends, the parent or guardian of every child so bitten shall, within twelve hours after first having knowledge that the child was so bitten, make a like report to the county health department. When no physician attends an adult so bitten such adult or the person caring for him shall make a like report to the county health department. to the bite, it is the responsibility of the bitten adult or the parent or guardian of a bitten minor child to report the bite by the end of the next working day, to the county health department.
Section 47-5-100. The county health department shall serve notice upon the owner of a dog
or, cat, or ferret which has attacked or bitten a person to confine quarantine the animal at the expense of the owner upon his premises or at a county pound an animal shelter or other place designated in the notice for at least ten days after the animal has attacked or bitten a person. The licensed veterinarian, the rabies control officer, or his assistants must be permitted by the owner of the pet or other animal which has attacked or bitten a person to examine the animal at any time, and daily if desired, within the ten-day period of confinement quarantine, to determine if the animal shows symptoms of rabies. No person may obstruct or interfere with the rabies control officer or his assistants in making the examination. The removal of the head of an animal suspected of having rabies must be performed by a licensed veterinarian, but the county health department may provide for the removal of the head if there is no veterinarian practicing within the county where the suspected animal is located or if no veterinarian located within the county will remove the head. The department of Health and Environmental Control shall serve notice upon the owner of an animal other than a dog or, cat, or ferret when the department has knowledge that the animal has attacked or bitten a person. The notice must instruct the owner to have the animal immediately euthanized and have the brain submitted for rabies examination or to have the animal quarantined under conditions specified by the department. The owner shall comply immediately with the instructions in the notice.
The county health department shall serve a notice in writing upon the owner of a pet or other animal known to have been bitten by an animal known or suspected of being affected by rabies, requiring the owner to confine such animal for a period of not less than six months, except that animals properly treated with antirabic vaccine shall be confined for a period of not less than three months. The county health department shall serve a written notice to the owner of a pet that has been bitten by or otherwise exposed to any animal affected or suspected of being affected by rabies. The notice must require the owner to have a currently inoculated pet revaccinated immediately and to quarantine the pet for a period of not less than forty-five days. An uninoculated pet must be quarantined for a period of not less than one hundred eighty days. The uninoculated pet must be inoculated after one hundred fifty days of the quarantine period and released from quarantine thirty days after that if no sign of rabies is observed.
Whenever the county board of health or the county health department has reason to believe, or has been notified by the Department of Health and Environmental Control, that there is danger that rabies may spread within that county, such board or department shall serve public notice by publication in a newspaper of general circulation in such county, requiring the owners of pets and other animals to confine such pets or other animals for such period as may be necessary to prevent the spread of rabies in such county. And when it shall be deemed advisable in the interest of public safety, the Department of Health and Environmental Control may order the inoculation against rabies of all pets or other animals so confined, whether or not such animal has been previously inoculated under the provisions of this chapter, and the Department of Health and Environmental Control shall aid the county health department in the execution of such emergency inoculations. When there is a danger of rabies spread in a community, and it is necessary in the interest of the public's health and safety, the commissioner of the department or his designee, may issue an order to include the general quarantine or immediate inoculation, or both, of pets against rabies within the affected community, whether or not these pets have been previously inoculated. The order may require that efforts to reduce the stray and feral animal population be undertaken.
Section 47-5-150. When it considers necessary, the department shall furnish antirabic (human) vaccine to the physician attendant upon persons bitten by or otherwise exposed to a pet or other animal found or suspected to be affected by rabies.
If the department considers it necessary to provide antirabic (human) vaccine to the persons bitten or otherwise exposed to a pet suspected of or having rabies that has not been vaccinated, the pet owner shall reimburse the department for the cost of the vaccine. Reimbursement is due the department within thirty days after billing.
Section 47-5-180. The department shall enforce this chapter. The sheriff and his deputies, the police officers in each incorporated municipality, and animal control officials in each county and municipality shall assist and cooperate with the county health department in enforcing this chapter.
Section 47-5-190. The county health departments, the county rabies control officers, their assistants, the department
of Health and Environmental Control, the public health veterinarian or anyone enforcing the provisions of this chapter shall are not be held responsible for any accident or subsequent disease that may occur in connection with the inoculation of any animal as herein provided in this chapter.
Any A person refusing to comply with the provisions of this chapter or violating any of the provisions hereof shall be of this chapter is guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall must be fined not more than one hundred dollars or imprisoned not more than thirty days, for each offense punished up to the maximum penalties that may be imposed in magistrate's court.
Section 47-5-210. Nothing in this chapter
shall may be construed to limit the power of any municipality political subdivision within the State to prohibit pets from running at large, whether or not they have been inoculated as herein provided in this chapter; nor shall anything in this chapter may not be construed to limit the power of any municipality political subdivision to regulate and control further in such municipality and to enforce other and additional measures for the restriction and control of rabies."
SECTION 2. This act takes effect upon approval by the Governor.
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