Alerts and Important Animal Health Information

Click HERE for updates and information on Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza 

Report sick or dead domestic/owner poultry to: The Illinois Department of Agriculture at 217-782-4944 or USDA APHIS Veterinary Services at 1-866-536-7593 

Report sick or dead wild birds (5 or more) to: your local IDNR District Wildlife Biologist or USDA Wildlife Services at 1-866-487-3297

U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan 

The Bureau of Animal Health and Welfare is now enrolling swine industry partners in the U.S. Swine Health Improvement Plan (U.S. SHIP).  Visit U.S. SHIP for more information.

​Attention Rodeo Stock Contractors, Promoters, and County Fair Boards

The provisions of the Illinois Humane Care for Animals Act (510 ILCS 70; "Act") apply to companion animals and livestock. It is the responsibility of event organizers, animal owners, and participants to be aware of practices and activities that may be considered violations of the Act. Violations of the Act are considered criminal offenses and are prosecuted by county state’s attorneys. Event organizers, animal owners, and participants should ensure the following:

  • An adequate supply of fresh water shall be provided to animals at all times except when an animal is participating in an event.
  • In the event of environmental extremes, such as extreme heat or severe inclement weather, animals must be provided with proper shelter.
  • The use of an electric prod on livestock in a chute should not be allowed unless the animal has balked or stalled after the chute has been opened.
  • Tail twisting, pulling, and raking over fences when an animal is in the chute or as the chute is being opened should not be allowed.
  • An electric prod may only be used while sorting livestock when absolutely necessary and may only touch the animal on the hip or shoulder area. Any overuse of electric prods is prohibited.
  • Animals that are sore, lame, sick or injured should not be allowed to participate in the event.
  • Veterinary care must be provided to prevent suffering. Any animal sustaining injury at any time must be provided with appropriate veterinary care. The Department encourages all events to maintain a relationship with a local veterinarian to ensure treatment is accessible in a timely manner.
  • All events must be conducted humanely. Participants must consider the species, size, age and condition of an animal before its use in an event and whether the event can be conducted humanely.
  • Practices such as calf tailing are not exempt from the humane care provisions of the Act.
  • All horses must have a current equine infectious anemia test and horses originating from out-of-state must have a current interstate certificate of veterinary inspection.

It is the responsibility of each person associated with an event, including the animals’ owners/caretakers, to ensure compliance with all Illinois laws pertaining to animal health and welfare at all times. Approved humane investigators, law enforcement or other entities that observe potential violations of the Humane Care for Animals Act should report those to the county state’s attorney at which the event occurred.


Illinois Approval of Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2 (RHDV2) Vaccine

Medgene Labs recently obtained emergency use authorization from the U.S. Department of Agriculture  for their RHDV2 (Rabbit Hemorrhagic Disease Virus 2) vaccine.

Illinois recently approved the sale and distribution of the vaccine to licensed veterinarians within the state.

Please visit  https://medgenelabs.com/rhdv2/ or call Medgene at (605) 697-2600 for further information. 

For more information on RHDV2 visit fs-rhdv2.pdf (usda.gov).  


Rabies Awareness 

Rabies is a fatal zoonotic, neurologic disease.  In September 2021, Illinois reported the first human case and death within the state from rabies since 1954 after a person was bitten by a rabid bat and did not receive prophylaxis.

The canine strain of rabies has been eradicated in the US due to vaccination practices.  However, the risk of re-introduction is present as a result of importation of animals from countries where the strain remains prevalent.  Strains circulating in bats, raccoons, skunks, and other species are still found within the US.  Therefore, we all must remain vigilant and comply with the laws regarding Rabies vaccination, quarantine and testing in Illinois.  All cats and dogs over the age of 16 weeks are required to be vaccinated with an approved product and this must be administered by a licensed veterinarian.  Please note that while they are required to be vaccinated at 16 weeks of age, if a product is used at 12 weeks and is approved for this age, the animal is considered officially vaccinated.  County animal control officials are responsible for the enforcement of rabies vaccination requirements with oversight from the Department. 

If an animal bites a person or your pet is bitten by another animal, you should always contact your local animal control office first. If you find a bat in your home, or your pet or other domestic animal had contact with a bat you should contact your local animal control office.  Below is a summary of rabies guidance as well as the section of law that applies to help inform Animal Control officials and owners.  If you have questions about submitting a sample for rabies testing please review the IDPH Rabies Submission Form for guidance.   Persons that have been bitten or have been in contact with a bat or have a bat in the home need to contact the local health department, animal control and their doctor.  You may also visit Rabies | IDPH (illinois.gov) for more information.  Only the labs listed on the IDPH website are approved for testing Rabies. Please coordinate this with your local animal control and local health department to ensure testing is done at an approved laboratory.  

Type Of BiteVaccine StatusQuarantine LengthNotes
Dog/Cat Bites HumanVaccinated10 DaysReference 510 ILCS 5/13 for specifics.  Seen by veterinarian within 24 hours of bite and at end of quarantine to ensure no clinical signs and microchipped if not already.  If the animal is euthanized or expires before the end of quarantine, the brain must be submitted for rabies testing.
Dog/Cat Bites HumanUnvaccinated10 days- quarantine in a supervised facilityReference ILCS 5/13 for specifics. Seen by veterinarian within 24 hours and at end of quarantine to ensure no clinical signs and vaccinate for rabies after 10 day quarantine and microchip if not already.  If the animal is euthanized or expires before the end of quarantine, the brain must be submitted for rabies testing.
Rabid (or potentially rabid) animal bites dog, at or ferret or the animal is found in close proximity to a bat  and the bat can't be tested negativeVaccinated45 daysReference section 30.130 of animal control rules.  Immediate humane euthanasia is preferred.  If not, then if vaccinated more than 30 days prior to exposure and within immunity period the dog should be revaccinated and confined for the 45 days.  Location of confinement is discretion of animal control.
Rabid (or potentially rabid animal) bites dog, cat or ferret or the animal is found in  close proximity to a bat and the bat can't be tested negativeUnvaccinated or out of date6 monthsReference section 30.130 of animal control rules.  Immediate humane euthanasia  is preferred.  If not, vaccinate IMMEDIATELY and placed under quarantine.  Revaccinate at END of 5 MONTHS of quarantine and remain in quarantine for 30 more days.  Location of confinement is discretion of animal control.