Rabies…Regulations and Administration (Part II of Rabies 101)

The USDA Center for Veterinary Biologics regulates and licenses rabies vaccines.  Only rabies vaccines that are licensed by the USDA and approved by the Commission (State Veterinarian, NC Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services) for the particular species shall be used and legally recognized by the state.

NC General Statute mandates that rabies vaccinations must be administered by a licensed veterinarian or by a registered veterinary technician under the direct supervision of a licensed veterinarian, or by a certified rabies vaccinator.  Rabies vaccines adminstered by animal owners or others not authorized by NC law are not recognized.

NC General Statute 130A-185 requires that any owner of a cat or dog shall have their animal vaccinated by four months of age and keep the animal currently vaccinated against rabies.

Dogs are required to wear rabies vaccination tags at all times.  Cats must wear tags unless they are exempt from wearing the tags by local ordinances. If an animal is found not wearing a tag, in accordance with NCGS 130A-192, the animal control officer shall determine the animal’s owner.  The owner has three days to produce the required rabies vaccination certificates.