Animal Bites

Animal bites and scratches from certain species are required by state law to be reported to county officials. Animal bites and scratches from certain species are considered to be particularly dangerous and or carry specific risk of infection.  The Campus Veterinarian has specific recommendations regarding biomedical research and teaching animals and these bite and scratch injuries, these are in addition to the requirements set forth by California state law.

The state of California mandates that bites and scratches from rabies-susceptible species will be reported to the designated official in the county the injury occurred.  When bitten or scratched by a non-rodent mammal you must make a report to the county in which the bite occurred.  For the Davis Campus, this is Yolo County.  In Yolo County, the Sheriff’s department takes these reports and runs the quarantine.  Purpose-bred rodents are exempt from reporting and quarantine.

Employees who are bitten or scratched are responsible for ensuring the County is notified.  This can occur several ways:   1) The employee completes and submits the bite reporting form; 2) The employees supervisor or department safety coordinator completes and submits the form;  or 3) The employee reports to occupational health and the occupational health staff submit the bite reporting form.

All Bites or scratch injuries involving UC Davis research or teaching animals must be reported to the Campus Veterinarian.  A copy of the bite report form is faxed to 530.754.4350 in addition to being submitted to the County the injury occurred in. Here is the form: Bite Report

Please contact the Campus Veterinarian’s Office at [email protected] or 530.752.7244 for further information regarding reporting and quarantine of UC Davis research and teaching animals.  Please contact occupational health services for human vaccination or injury information.

Non-Human Primates carry an additional health risk in addition to rabies.  There are location-specific procedures to be followed with regard to Herpes B exposure procedures.  First and foremost the exposed person MUST without delay cleanse the wound.  A minimum of a 15 minute scrub with hot, soapy water and preferably a halogenated cleanser must immediately occur; betadine scrub, chlorhexidine and soap are acceptable.  Notification of appropriate veterinary personnel must swiftly follow so samples from the Primate associated with the exposure may be obtained within 1 hour of injury.  A visit to Employee Health is the final step, so the injury and risk can be evaluated by the Occupational Health staff.  A bite or scratch injury form must be submitted to the county using one of the three methods outlined above.

If you are bitten/scratched, DO NOT euthanize or kill the animal.  If the animal dies the head (brain) must be tested for rabies.  The County of incident will provide guidance for submission of the remains.  The remains must be refrigerated and not frozen for the test to yield valid results.  If you have any questions please call the County of incident or 530.752.7244 or contact Occupation Health or your Veterinarian for guidance.