MISSOURI PASSES Rabies Waiver Bill

MISSOURI Rabies Medical Exemption SB 566 PASSED 5/17/12, effective date 8/28/12 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=5884 . Missouri has become the 16th state with a medical exemption clause in its law.

Exemption language:

Chapter 322, RSMo Section 322.005: (5) "Statement of exemption from vaccination", a written determination, signed by a veterinarian, that a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog or cat. The statement shall include the owner's name and address, a description of the animal, the medical reason that precludes vaccination, the date of determination, and the period of time for which the medical condition is reasonably expected to persist;

3. It shall not be considered a violation of this section for an owner to have a dog or cat that is not vaccinated for rabies if such owner possesses a current statement of exemption from vaccination for such animal, however if exposure occurs, the dog or cat is considered to be nonvaccinated.

CORRECTION MISSOURI: The medical exemption clause in SB 566 was removed from the version of the bill which passed on 5/17/12. The "Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed" version of SB 566 which did pass http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bill/tat/SB566.pdf was not posted on the Legislature's website until a week after passage, leading to the incorrect conclusion that the "Perfected" bill text appearing on the Legislature's bill status including waivers http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bill/perf/SB566.pdf had passed. This version of the bill including rabies waivers did not, in fact, pass.

According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Legislative Liason, Rachel Mobley, the final version of SB 566 stripped the language which required all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies. Because there is no statutory requirement for rabies vaccination in the final bill or in state law, there was no need for a medical exemption clause in SB 566. Rabies vaccination requirements are determined at the county level.

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