Bats & Rabies in the UK

A VERY small number of bats in the UK have been found to carry EBLV1, a rabies like virus.  

The Animal & Plant Health Agency has tested over 12,000 UK bats since 1986 for EBLV1 and only ten bats have tested positive with the live virus. Further research by the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), the Scottish Executive and Scottish Natural Heritage found just one bat that tested positive, taking the total number of bats to 11 in the UK (not very many at all!) 

Can People Catch Rabies From Bats? 

The risk is EXTREMELY small for a number of reasons

1) All cases have been found in Daubentons bats which tend not to roost in buildings

2) Human contact with bats is rare, even if we share a building with them

3) The virus is transmitted by a bite or its saliva. If you do not approach or handle a bat, there is no risk. 

4) Bats are not aggressive, they may bite in self defence if they feel threatened, but so would you.

5) There is an effective treatment available from your GP if you seek help as soon as you are exposed to the virus