Ventura County Rabies Proposal

Ventura County Rabies Proposal

I am writing to inform you that Ventura County Animal Services (VCAS) will
be proposing a new requirement to the Ventura County Ordinance (Division
4-Public Health) to the Board of Supervisors. This new provision is related
to vaccination certificate requirements and the duty of authorized persons
administering rabies vaccinations. As we are aware that this may have a
direct impact on some of your members, I wanted to provide you notification
of this proposal as well as some information as to VCAS plan for
implementation and how this may affect our local veterinarians. I am hoping
that you can provide this information to your membership.

As you are aware, California State law (Health & Safety Code $1920)
mandates that dogs in all counties declared “rabies endemic”, which now
includes the entire state, receive rabies vaccinations and be licensed
accordingly in each jurisdiction. Such licensing is considered a means of
determining a dog’s vaccination status. Additionally, the state law allows
local ordinances to require veterinarians to report rabies vaccination
records to ensure compliance with laws. However, Ventura County’s ordinance
does not currently require this reporting and as such, we do not have
current rabies vaccination information for many of the dogs in our
jurisdiction. It is this change specifically that we will proposing to the
Board of Supervisors.

On March 17, 2020, VCAS will present the first reading of the proposed
ordinance amendment to the Board of Supervisors that will require all
veterinarians to report administered rabies vaccination information to our
office, as the County’s licensing authority, on a monthly basis. The
required information will include the owner’s name, address, animal
information and vaccination details. A second reading of the ordinance
amendment will be presented on April 21, 2020, at which time the Board of
Supervisors will render their determination.

In an effort to minimize the administrative impact of this change, our data
management vendor will work directly with each veterinarian’s office to
create a user-friendly reporting interface that will allow for easy import
of the required information into our system. For those offices that are not
able to accommodate this interface, our vendor will accept copies of rabies
certificates and will manually upload this information into our system.
There will not be a charge for either method of reporting.

Additionally, for those veterinarians who may be concerned with privacy
issues, these records will not be shared for any purpose and are not
subject to a public records act request. Below are sections of the
California State Law for your reference.

State Health and Safety Code $121690 (e) It shall be the duty of the
governing body of each city, city and county, or county to maintain or
provide for the maintenance of a pound system and rabies control program
for the purpose of carrying out and enforcing this section.

State Health and Safety Code $121690 (h) All information obtained from a
dog owner by compliance with this chapter is confidential to the dog owner
and proprietary to the veterinarian. This information shall not be used,
distributed, or released for any purpose, except to ensure compliance with
existing federal, state, county, or city laws or regulations.

Lastly, there are currently twenty (20) veterinary offices that offer
licensing services for their clients and report that information to us,
thus eliminating the need for the client to have to license directly with
VCAS. These offices receive an administrative allowance for this service.
We are hoping to increase the number of veterinarians participating in this
program, thus providing enhanced customer-focused services for our pet
owners. Similarly, we currently provide veterinary business information for
fifty-eight (58) participating veterinary clinics in the County to all
people who adopt animals from us (over 5,700 adoptions per year) in
exchange for a complimentary first check-up. If any of your members are not
on this list and would like to be, we will be happy to add them.

We appreciate your support in this initiative and hope that we can continue
to develop collaborative relationships that benefit the animals, community
and veterinarians.