5.1.3.6. Can rabies be transmitted while butchering animals?

Exposure to rabies is possible when butchering, processing, or consuming a rabid animal. Butchering of unvaccinated dogs and cats, for example, has been recognised as an increasing human health risk in countries where consumption of dog and, to a lesser extent, cat meat is common (e.g. many Asian countries), as shown in this study. Points of entry of the rabies virus in these cases might be several: contamination of cuts or abrasions, especially of the hands; removal and preparation of the animal brain, which could generate large amounts of infectious rabies virus with transmission occurring via mucous membranes; and consumption of brain meals. Ways of preventing exposure in these cases include wearing protective clothing and avoiding consumption of uncooked meat (read also here). Click here for more information on how to prevent or deal with an exposure in these and other circumstances.




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