Relates to authorizing the seizure and confinement of animals in connection with the prevention of rabies.
TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the public health law, in relation to authorizing the seizure and confinement of animals in connection with the prevention of rabies
PURPOSE: To give county health officials the flexibility to allow home confinement of animals to determine their rabies status.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS: This bill permits home confinement of animals suspected of having rabies upon approval of the county health authority. Confinement must include provisions to prevent the escape of the animal. Also, the owner is required to notify the public health authority if the animal becomes ill during confinement.
JUSTIFICATION: Under current law, confinement of an animal that might have exposed a person to rabies must take place at a facility such as an animal shelter, veterinarian's office, kennel or farm (except that county health departments may allow home confinement of animals that are actively immunized). This bill would generally permit home confinement of animals upon approval of the county health authority, provided that there are provisions to prevent escape of the animal, the owner is required to immediately notify the county health authority if the animal becomes ill, and the county health authority verifies at the end of the ten day period that the animal is healthy. One ongoing problem has been that some pet owners may be unable to afford the costs of such outside confinement. These owners may respond by euthanizing the animal, or moving it to another location and claiming that it has run away. The result is that the victim must then receive rabies post-exposure vaccinations, when such treatment may have otherwise proven to be unnecessary. This bill provides local health departments with flexibility in allowing home confinement where appropriate.
FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to the State.
EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall become law
STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 4566 2011-2012 Regular Sessions IN SENATE April 12, 2011 ___________Introduced by Sen. FARLEY -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Health AN ACT to amend the public health law, in relation to authorizing the seizure and confinement of animals in connection with the prevention of rabies THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 7 of section 2140 of the public health law, as added by chapter 180 of the laws of 2002, is amended to read as follows: 7. "Confinement and observation" refers to the conditions under which apparently healthy dogs, cats, domesticated ferrets, and domestic live- stock, which are not exhibiting symptoms of rabies, must be maintained TO DETERMINE RABIES STATUS if such an animal has potentially exposed a person to rabies, and the owner wishes to avoid euthanizing and testing the animal.
[The]IF THE COUNTY HEALTH AUTHORITY DOES NOT APPROVE HOME CONFINEMENT, THE ten day confinement and observation period must take place, at owner's expense, at an appropriate facility such as an animal shelter, veterinarian's office, kennel or farm [for an animal not actively immunized against rabies at the time of the bite. County health departments may allow home confinements and observation for animals actively immunized. Confinement and observation includes]. THE CONFINE- MENT MUST INCLUDE (I) PROVISIONS TO PREVENT ESCAPE OF THE ANIMAL DURING THE CONFINEMENT PERIOD AND (II) REQUIREMENTS THAT THE OWNER NOTIFY THE PUBLIC HEALTH AUTHORITY IMMEDIATELY IF THE ANIMAL BECOMES ILL AT ANYTIME DURING CONFINEMENT, AND (III) verification by the county health authori- ty or their designee [both during and]at the end of the ten day period that the animal [cannot or has not escaped and has remained]IS healthy. S 2. This act shall take effect on the ninetieth day after it shall have become a law.EXPLANATION--Matter in ITALICS (underscored) is new; matter in brackets [ ] is old law to be omitted. LBD02694-01-1