Missouri Revised Statutes

Chapter 322
Protection Against Rabies
Section 322.140

August 28, 2014


Animal bite, report to county health department in absence of county rules--investigation of report--responsibility of owner--rulemaking authority.

322.140. 1. If a county does not adopt rules and regulations pursuant to sections 322.090 to 322.130, whenever an animal bites or otherwise possibly transmits rabies or any zoonotic disease, the incident shall be immediately reported to the county health department. The county health department shall immediately report the incident to the department of health and senior services and shall cooperate fully with the department of health and senior services in its investigation.

2. Upon receipt of an incident report where an animal bites or otherwise possibly transmits rabies or any zoonotic disease, the department of health and senior services shall investigate the incident and shall have discretion to order the animal quarantined, isolated, impounded, tested, immunized or disposed of to prevent and control rabies or zoonotic disease.

3. With regard to exposure to rabies or zoonotic disease the department of health and senior services shall, in its investigation and issuance of its order, consider the following:

(1) Prior vaccinations for rabies or zoonotic disease;

(2) The degree of exposure to rabies or zoonotic disease;

(3) The history and prior behavior of the animal prior to exposure;

(4) The availability and effectiveness of human postexposure immunization for rabies or zoonotic disease;

(5) The willingness of the individual so exposed to submit to postexposure immunization for rabies or zoonotic disease; and

(6) Any other relevant information.

4. It shall be unlawful for the owner of an animal that bites or otherwise possibly transmits rabies or any zoonotic disease to knowingly fail or refuse to comply with a lawful order of the department of health and senior services declaring a quarantine, isolation, impounding, testing, immunization or disposal of an animal. It shall also be unlawful for an owner of an animal that bites or otherwise possibly transmits rabies or any zoonotic disease to sell, give away, transfer, transport to another area or otherwise dispose of an animal until the animal has been released by the department of health and senior services. A violation of this subsection shall be a class A misdemeanor.

5. The owner of an animal that bites or otherwise possibly transmits rabies or any zoonotic disease shall be responsible for all costs associated with the incident, including:

(1) The cost to test the animal for rabies or zoonotic disease;

(2) The cost to test the exposed person for rabies or zoonotic disease; and

(3) The cost to treat the person exposed to rabies or zoonotic disease.

6. The department of health and senior services shall have authority to promulgate rules and regulations concerning the classification of disease as a zoonotic disease. Any rule or portion of a rule, as that term is defined in section 536.010, that is created under the authority delegated in this section shall become effective only if it complies with and is subject to all of the provisions of chapter 536 and, if applicable, section 536.028. This section and chapter 536 are nonseverable and if any of the powers vested with the general assembly pursuant to chapter 536 to review, to delay the effective date or to disapprove and annul a rule are subsequently held unconstitutional, then the grant of rulemaking authority and any rule proposed or adopted after August 28, 2001, shall be invalid and void.

(L. 2001 S.B. 462)


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