Office of Animal Welfare

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Requirements For Veterinary Supervision Of Disease Control And Health Care At Licensed Animal Facilities

The supervising veterinarian should visit the facility on a periodic basis (e.g. monthly) to evaluate the disease control management practices and make recommendations concerning isolation areas for sick animals, sanitation, animal caging, flow of animals and personnel through the facility, and management practices which impact on disease control, as stipulated in N.J.A.C. 8:23A-1.9. Initial visits should be conducted more frequently (e.g. weekly) to ensure that recommendations are being followed and make any necessary revisions.

The veterinarian should hold at least one educational session annually with shelter management and staff concerning the principles of infectious disease control in the kennel, pet shop, shelter or pound setting; including animal rabies isolation procedures. One to three persons (the number depending on the size of the facility) should be selected to serve as a liaison with the veterinarian to report problems, seek consultation, and carry out disease control recommendations as directed by the veterinarian on an ongoing basis. Every animal at the facility must be observed daily by one of the veterinary liaisons for clinical signs of illness or injury. Animals with clinical signs of communicable diseases must be immediately separated from healthy animals and receive medical care, under the direction of the supervising veterinarian.

The Certification of Veterinary Supervision shall be signed and dated annually by the veterinarian prior to the licensing of the facility in June. Written orders should be issued for treatment of routine medical problems. The veterinarian should issue prescriptions for vaccine, except rabies vaccine, and other pharmaceutical agents not licensed for over-the-counter sale. State statute requires rabies vaccine to be administered by a licensed veterinarian. All treatment orders, medical records and prescriptions shall be maintained on file at the facility and be available to State and local health department personnel during facility inspection. Medical waste should be handled under the direction of the supervising veterinarian. Diagnoses of zoonotic diseases must be reported to the local health department with jurisdiction over the facility.

The veterinarian, through unannounced visits to the facility, should monitor maintenance of the disease control program as often as is necessary, but at least 4 times per year. Veterinarians should report to the State or local health department when they discontinue service to the facility or discover that the facility is not cooperating with the supervising veterinarian's recommendations.