Rabies control and prevention

Guidance and advice on rabies control and prevention can be found on the Rabies section of the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) Website.

Rabies Control

Defra has a Rabies Contingency Plan which would be used in the event of an outbreak.

The British Isles has been free of classical rabies for many decades, but because of the existence of the disease elsewhere there is concern about rabies being reintroduced by imported animals. All rabies susceptible animals entering the UK are required to spend six months in quarantine, unless arriving under and complying with all the conditions of the Pet Travel Scheme (PETS).

Rabies in bats

Rabies affects bats and a strain of rabies called European Bat Lyssavirus (EBLV 2) has been found in Daubenton's bats in the UK on four occasions. There was also a fatal human case of rabies in Scotland in December 2002.

If you find a sick or ailing bat you should not approach or handle it, but seek advice from the Bat Conservation Trust Helpline. If you find a dead bat, you should also ring this helpline for advice before attempting to handle it, you may also wish to send the dead bat to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) for rabies testing under Defra's passive surveillance scheme.

Rabies in other countries

You can find out more about the level of rabies in other countries around the world from the World Health Organisation

Information on rabies in Europe can be found on the Rabies Bulletin Europe website .