i. This contingency plan sets out the control concepts and actions that the Scottish Government would employ in the event of an outbreak of rabies in Scotland or elsewhere in Great Britain. The plan covers control of rabies in animals - for information and advice on potential cases of rabies in humans, Health Protection Scotland have issued guidance which is contained within ‘ Rabies: Guidance on Prophylaxis and Management in Humans in Scotland’  .
ii. The plan contains information about the disease and what would happen in response to an outbreak. In recognition that the disease control response to rabies is broadly similar to that of other exotic notifiable animal diseases, this plan should be read in conjunction with the ‘ Scottish Government Exotic Diseases of Animals Contingency Framework Plan’  and the ‘ Scottish Governments Exotic Disease Communications Strategy’  .
iii. The plan is consistent with the requirements of EU and Scottish legislation (more details on the specific legislation can be found in Section 2 of this control Strategy. Scottish Ministers have a legal responsibility and authority for the control of rabies in Scotland. The Plan recognises that rabies does not respect national boundaries, therefore co-operation and co-ordination with other UK administrations is essential if rabies is to be controlled effectively with minimal impact on the economy, environment and rural communities.
iv. This plan has been prepared to reflect the requirements of the civil contingencies framework described in ‘ Preparing Scotland: Scottish Guidance on Resilience’  which has been written for a wide and varied audience, not only those in Government, its agencies and operational partners but also for anyone who may be affected either directly or indirectly by an outbreak of rabies.
v. The Plan sets out the principles and strategic objectives of rabies control. At the start of any outbreak there will be an element of uncertainty about its eventual scale, extent and duration. Depending on the scale of the outbreak, not all the mechanisms, structures and processes set out in the Plan may be necessary. 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 wildlife experts.
vi. For more general health advice on rabies follow the links below:
Health Protection Scotland http://www.hps.scot.nhs.uk/giz/rabies.aspx
National Health Service http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Rabies/Pages/Introduction.aspx
Email: Frances Hepburn Frances Hepburn
Telephone: Central Enquiries Unit 0300 244 4000