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Minister Creed highlights the importance of continued vigilance against rabies on World Rabies Day 2019

Speaking on World Rabies Day (September 28th), the Minister for Agriculture Food and the Marine, Michael Creed T.D., reminded the general public that although Ireland has been rabies-free since 1903, we are not free from the risk of rabies. The Minister highlighted that cases of rabies have been reported in pets and wildlife throughout Europe in recent years, noting that nearly all cases of rabies in humans are due to bites from infected dogs. 

Minister Creed said:  “My Department has robust policies in place to maintain this freedom from rabies.  All dogs, cats and ferrets must be vaccinated against rabies before they enter Ireland or any other EU country.  Rabies is a notifiable disease - if you suspect an animal is affected by rabies, you must notify the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine immediately, by contacting your local Regional Veterinary Office. The risk to Ireland from rabies is low, but the increasing movement of people and their pet animals into and throughout Europe means that the introduction of rabies into Ireland remains a real risk.  Everyone has a part to play - the most likely way for rabies to be introduced into Ireland is by an imported dog, cat or ferret.”

The rules on pet travel between Ireland and the UK after Brexit will change, and pet owners should consult my Department’s website for more information if they are planning to visit the UK with their pet dog, cat or ferret.”

Rabies is one of the most deadly zoonotic diseases worldwide and kills nearly 60,000 people annually. The theme of World Rabies Day this year, Rabies: vaccinate to eliminate” emphasises the importance of vaccination in the ongoing fight to eliminate all human deaths from rabies arising from dog bites by 2030.  

Further information about rabies can be found on the Department’s website at:

Further information on pet travel into Ireland can be found here:

Further information on World Rabies Day can be found at:



Date Released: 28 September 2019