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The UK’s contribution to eliminating rabies
  1. Christine Middlemiss
  1. UK CVO, Defra, Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR
  1. email: christine.middlemiss{at}

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The UK is considered to be free from terrestrial rabies, according to the World Organisation for Animal Health’s (OIE’s) definition. The last locally acquired human case of terrestrial rabies was in 1922 and since then, a combination of strict import rules and quarantine has kept us disease free. Harmonisation with the EU pet travel rules in 2012 has not changed this situation, as the disease status of many countries in Europe has substantially improved in the past 30 years since pet and wildlife vaccination programmes were put in place in 1988. This is despite the large increase in travelling pets since harmonising with the simplified EU rules for pet travel.

Nevertheless, like many countries around Europe, we continue to report cases of the related European bat lyssaviruses (EBLV) …

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