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3.2.10 What laws and by-laws may be useful in ensuring a successful fox rabies control programme?

Given frequent spillovers into domestic and pet animals, as well as humans, national legislation should emphasise and guarantee an integrated approach for the control of fox-mediated rabies.

Many developed countries have passed laws relevant to foxes that may have to be considered or may be helpful in planning ORV programmes. They include Hunting Acts (fox hunting legislation - permanent targeted hunting of foxes), Wildlife Conservation Acts. Wild Mammals (Protection) Acts and Protection of Animals Acts. In some countries, e.g. Turkey and the Netherlands, the red fox falls under the Wildlife Conservation Act. Laws and restrictions may exist that prevent the use of certain capture and sampling (tools and techniques) devices.

In general, laws and regulations relevant to fox rabies control (ORV) programmes may include special legislation that addresses the following issues: prevention of rabies, hunting issues (responsibilities of hunters in the control of wildlife-mediated diseases), responsible pet ownership (including mandatory registration and identification, and vaccination requirements), keeping unowned pets, control of pet movements, tie-up orders, regulations to control rubbish disposal and disposal of waste at facilities producing offal (e.g. slaughter houses, fisheries and dairy farms), and pet abandonment legislation.

Aerial distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits in the context of ORV programmes is likely to require strict compliance with air traffic regulations, and should be evaluated prior to initiating an ORV programme.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012