Making sense of state and local rabies laws and spreading the word about rabies cases and vaccinations are at the center of a new website developed by Merial Ltd.
The Duluth, Ga., veterinary drug maker partnered on the website with North Carolina State University Professor Emeritus Richard Ford, DVM, MS, Dipl. ACVIM.
“The application, interpretation and enforcement of rabies vaccination laws can vary significantly from state to state and even county to county,” Dr. Ford said. “Complex and sometimes conflicting rabies laws can lead to considerable confusion, misinterpretation of state and local statutes, and inappropriate actions on the part of individual practitioners.”
The website, www.RabiesAware.org, presents state-specific frequently asked questions, surveillance data, a list of U.S.-approved vaccines and contact information for state public health veterinarians.
Information was available for about 20 states as of late January. Merial stated that Web pages for all 50 states and Puerto Rico should be available sometime this year.
The North Carolina page showed several hundred confirmed rabies cases, most involving raccoons, in 2012 and 2013. The question section noted that “Dogs, cats and ferrets are required by law to be vaccinated against rabies” and that “Rabies vaccination exemption is not authorized in North Carolina.”
The website grew out of Merial’s national Rabies Awareness Initiative.
In other news, the company today reported a forward-looking partnership with Georgia Tech and the university’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet-of-Things Technologies. Working together, they will explore using technology to improve animal health using “Internet-connected technology and networks.”
“Telemedicine and wearable technologies, for example, are opening a new potential era of remote health management and monitoring capabilities, and are only the beginning of how enabled devices can create new links between animals, their owners and veterinarians,” the company stated.