2023 Florida Statutes< Back to Statute Search
Title XLVI CRIMES
Chapter 828 ANIMALS: CRUELTY; SALES; ANIMAL ENTERPRISE PROTECTION
SECTION 30Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.
828.30 Rabies vaccination of dogs, cats, and ferrets.—
(1) All dogs, cats, and ferrets 4 months of age or older must be vaccinated by a licensed veterinarian against rabies with a vaccine that is licensed by the United States Department of Agriculture for use in those species. The owner of every dog, cat, and ferret shall have the animal revaccinated 12 months after the initial vaccination. Thereafter, the interval between vaccinations shall conform to the vaccine manufacturer’s directions. The cost of vaccination must be borne by the animal’s owner. Evidence of circulating rabies virus neutralizing antibodies shall not be used as a substitute for current vaccination in managing rabies exposure or determining the need for booster vaccinations.
(2) A dog, cat, or ferret is exempt from vaccination against rabies if a licensed veterinarian has examined the animal and has certified in writing that at the time vaccination would endanger the animal’s health because of its age, infirmity, disability, illness, or other medical considerations. An exempt animal must be vaccinated against rabies as soon as its health permits.
(3) Upon vaccination against rabies, the licensed veterinarian shall provide the animal’s owner and the animal control authority with a rabies vaccination certificate. Each animal control authority and veterinarian shall use the “Rabies Vaccination Certificate” of the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV) or an equivalent form approved by the local government that contains all the information required by the NASPHV Rabies Vaccination Certificate. The veterinarian who administers the rabies vaccine to an animal as required under this section may affix his or her signature stamp in lieu of an actual signature.
(4) Each ferret vaccinated according to this section must be quarantined, when necessary, according to rules of the Department of Health.
(5) An animal owner’s name, street address, phone number, and animal tag number contained in a rabies vaccination certificate provided to the animal control authority is exempt from s. 119.07(1) and s. 24(a), Art. I of the State Constitution. However, any person who has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to a zoonotic disease or the physician of such person; a veterinarian who is treating an animal that has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to a zoonotic disease; or the owner of an animal that has been bitten, scratched, or otherwise exposed to a zoonotic disease shall be provided with any information contained in a rabies vaccination certificate but only with respect to the particular animal biting, scratching, or otherwise causing exposure. Any person with an animal tag number may receive vaccination certificate information with regard to that animal. Law enforcement and prosecutorial agencies; other animal control authorities; emergency and medical response and disease control agencies; or other governmental health agencies shall be provided information contained in the rabies vaccination certificate for the purpose of controlling the transmission of rabies; however, the receiving agencies and authorities must not release the exempt information.
(6) Violation of this section is a civil infraction, punishable as provided in s. 828.27(2).
(7) This section does not prohibit or limit municipalities or counties from establishing requirements similar to or more stringent than the provisions of this section for the implementation and enforcement of rabies-control ordinances. However, local governments shall not mandate revaccination of currently vaccinated animals except in instances involving postexposure treatment for rabies.
History.—s. 7, ch. 94-339; s. 3, ch. 95-220; s. 1, ch. 98-178; s. 1, ch. 98-213; s. 1, ch. 2003-170; s. 1, ch. 2005-74; s. 9, ch. 2006-289.
Note.—Former s. 585.69.