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Rabies Contingency and Wildlife Control plan

Scottish Government Rabies Contingency and Wildlife Control Plans

Rabies is a zoonotic disease (a disease that is transmitted to humans from animals) that is caused by a virus. Rabies infects domestic and wild animals, and can be spread to people through close contact with infected saliva (via bites or scratches). The disease is present on nearly every continent of the world.

The rabies virus causes acute encephalitis (inflammation of the brain) in all mammals including humans. In the UK infected bats, badgers, foxes, dogs and cats are thought to provide the greatest risk to humans. Rodents are seldom infected.

The virus is usually spread by saliva from the bite of an infected animal. After infection, it can take several months for signs of the disease to develop. It is invariably fatal once signs of the disease have appeared.

The plans set out the control concepts and actions that the Scottish Government (SG) would employ during a rabies outbreak. The Contingency plan covers control of rabies in animals. The response to an outbreak would depend on a number of factors including strain of rabies, location of outbreak and scale of outbreak. It would be informed by advice from veterinary, epidemiology and wild life experts.

Wildlife control plan

Rabies Control Strategy