RABIES Vaccine & Rabies Laws

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MINNESOTA Rabies Vax Survey

Postby Kris L. Christine » Fri Jan 13, 2012 2:36 pm

The Minnesota Rabies Vaccination Survey Report has been posted on The Rabies Challenge Fund website: http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/imag ... esults.pdf
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

MISSOURI Rabies Bill SB 566 ACTION ALERT

Postby Kris L. Christine » Sat Jan 14, 2012 6:16 pm

MISSOURI Rabies Bill SB 566 ACTION ALERT

(Please copy & paste link into your browser if it doesn't work by clicking on it.)

MISSOURI: A rabies bill, SB 566 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bil ... /SB566.pdf , has been introduced into the Missouri legislature and assigned to the Agriculture, Food Production & Outdoor Resources Committee. The Rabies Challenge Fund has written the letter below requesting that a medical exemption clause be inserted into this bill.

What You Can Do

If you are a Missouri resident, please contact the bill sponsor, Senator Dan Brown, and the Chair of the Agriculture Committee below & ask them to place a medical exemption clause into the language of the bill and to vote that the bill "ought to pass." Request that all of the Missouri pet owners you know to do the same.

Senator Dan Brown (573) 751-5713 Dan.Brown@senate.mo.gov
Senator Brian Munzlinger, Chair of the Agriculture Committee (573) 751-7985 Brian.Munzlinger@senate.mo.gov

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January 14, 20012

Senator Dan Brown
Senator Brian Munzlinger

RE: SB 566 Bill Requiring Dogs and Cats to be Vaccinated Against Rabies

Greetings Senators Brown and Munzlinger:

The Rabies Challenge Fund supports passage of the proposed language in SB 566 which would amend Section A, Chapter 322 RSMo, Subsection 322.035 (5) to require that dogs and cats be immunized against rabies in accordance with the current recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC) National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian’s (NASPHV) Rabies Compendium. Also in accordance with the Rabies Compendium, we strongly urge the Committee to insert a rabies medical exemption clause into the language of this bill.

The Rabies Compendium directs that “All vaccinesmust be administered in accordance with the specifications of the product label or package insert,” and rabies vaccine labels specify that they are for healthy animals. In addition to limiting its rabies vaccine for use in healthy animals, Pfizer’s Defensor 3 label cautions that: “(a) protective immune response may not be elicited if animals are incubating an infectious disease, are malnourished or parasitized, are stressed due to shipment or environmental conditions, are otherwise immunocompromised..”

The states of Alabama, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have medical exemption clauses for sick animals in their rabies immunization laws/regulations.

Immunologically, the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions such as polyneuropathy “resulting in muscular atrophy, inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ function, incoordination, and weakness,”[1] auto-immune hemolytic anemia,[2] thrombocytopenia, anorexia, regional lymphadenomegaly, cutaneous ischemic vasculopathy;[3] autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites are all linked to the rabies vaccine.[4] [5] It is medically unsound for this vaccine to be given to any animal deemed unhealthy by a veterinarian.

A medical exemption clause would allow Missouri veterinarians to write waivers for animals whose medical conditions (such as those with cancer, kidney/liver failure, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, grand mal seizures, and chronic autoimmune disorders) would be exacerbated by rabies vaccination. The State of Maine inserted such an exemption for dogs into their 3 year rabies protocol, 7 M.R.S.A., Sec. 3922(3), which became effective in April 2005, and not one rabid dog has been reported in the nearly 7 years since.

Maine’s exemption language is as follows:

A. A letter of exemption from vaccination may be submitted for licensure, if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog. Qualifying letters must be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the dog, and the medical reason that precludes vaccination. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter shall indicate a time of expiration of the exemption.

B. A dog exempted under the provisions of paragraph 5 A, above, shall be considered unvaccinated, for the purposes of 10-144 C.M.R. Ch.251, Section 7(B)(1), (Rules Governing Rabies Management) in the case of said dog’s exposure to a confirmed or suspect rabid animal.


Without a provision for medical exemptions in Section A, Chapter 322 RSMo, Missouri’s rabies immunization requirement would thrust an ethical quandary on veterinarians with seriously ill patients -- they must either violate their Veterinarian’s Oath and administer a rabies vaccine contrary to sound medical practice and against the vaccine manufacturer’s labeled instructions, or recommend their clients break the law by not immunizing their unhealthy pets against rabies. Being compelled by law to vaccinate sick dogs and cats against rabies in order for their clients to comply with the statute also puts Missouri’s veterinarians at risk of being held liable for any adverse reactions the animals may suffer after administering a vaccine inconsistently with the labeled directions. Owners of critically ill dogs may choose not to comply with the law rather than jeopardize the lives of their pets and then fail to license their dogs to avoid detection.

On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust and Missouri pet owners, we urge you to insert a medical exemption clause in Senate Bill 566 and to vote that the bill ought to pass. You may contact me at the number below if you would like any scientific data on the rabies vaccine or if you have any questions.

Sincerely,


Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com

cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Missouri Legislature & Agriculture Committee

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] Dodds, W. Jean Vaccination Protocols for Dogs Predisposed to Vaccine Reactions, The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, May/June 2001, Vol. 37, pp. 211-214

[2] Duval D., Giger U.Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 1996; 10:290-295

[3] American Animal Hospital Association, 2011 Canine Vaccination Guidelines, p. 20

[4] American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board, April 2001, Principles of Vaccination, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 219, No. 5, September 1, 2001.

[5] Vascelleri, M. Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas; Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A August 2003, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 286-291.
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

MN New Rabies Vax Guide from State Board

Postby Kris L. Christine » Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:04 pm

MINNESOTA Board of Veterinary Medicine issues Rabies Vaccination Guidance Document 3/1/12 http://www.vetmed.state.mn.us/portals/22/RabiesVaccinationGuidanceDocument.pdf

"rabies vaccination certificate should always comply with Minnesota Rule 1705.1146, including displaying the date of vaccination and the rabies vaccine labeled duration of immunity, even if the veterinarian recommends more frequent rabies vaccination"

A major victory for Minnesota pet owners thanks to Jane Anderson & Chris Addington, who, with assistance from The Rabies Challenge Fund, have prompted the Minnesota Board of Veterinary Medicine to publish a rabies vaccination guidance document in order to get veterinarians to follow the recommendations of the CDC's Rabies Compendium, to issue rabies certificates accurately reflecting the duration of immunity on the vaccine label, to obtain documented informed consent if administering rabies vaccines off-label, and to have "credible, scientifically-based information....in the possession of the veterinarian and available for review" if the veterinarian chooses to adopt a booster protocol other than that recommended in the Compendium.

The Rabies Vaccination Survey Report can be viewed here: http://www.rabieschallengefund.org/imag ... esults.pdf
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

INDIANA Medical Exemption

Postby Kris L. Christine » Wed Mar 14, 2012 12:37 pm

INDIANA Medical Exemption Petition -- Pet owners are taking steps to put a medical exemption clause into Indiana 's rabies rules. If you are an Indiana resident, please sign the online petition and share the link: https://www.change.org/petitions/indian ... e_petition .

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Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

AVMA Passes Rabies Waivers

Postby Kris L. Christine » Mon Mar 26, 2012 6:12 pm

AVMA (American Veterinary Medical Association) EXECUTIVE BOARD PASSES ANNUAL RABIES VACCINATION WAIVER http://www.avma.org/about_avma/governan ... _Final.pdf
"...AVMA recognizes some animals might require a waiver from rabies vaccination because the vaccination poses an unacceptably high risk to the health of the individual animal..."

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Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

MISSOURI Rabies Waiver Bill ACTION ALERT

Postby Kris L. Christine » Thu Apr 12, 2012 6:41 am

MISSOURI MEDICAL EXEMPTION SB 566 ACTION ALERT: A medical exemption clause was included in SB 566 after The Rabies Challenge Fund petitioned the bill's sponsors. Bill SB 566 was read for the 2nd time in the Missouri House on 4/10/12 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web ... illID=5884.

What You Can Do:

Please contact your legislators (http://www.senate.mo.gov/llookup/leg_lookup.aspx) & ask them to pass the bill.

Text of SB 566 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bill/perf/SB566.pdf including exemption:

(5) "Statement of exemption from vaccination," a written determination, signed by a veterinarian, that a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination for the dog or cat. The statement shall include the owner's name and address, a description of the animal, the medical reason that precludes vaccination, the date of determination, and the period of time for which the medical condition is reasonably expected to persist."

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Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

MISSOURI PASSES Rabies Waiver Bill

Postby Kris L. Christine » Fri May 18, 2012 4:43 am

MISSOURI Rabies Medical Exemption SB 566 PASSED 5/17/12, effective date 8/28/12 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/BTS_Web ... illID=5884 . Missouri has become the 16th state with a medical exemption clause in its law.

Exemption language:

Chapter 322, RSMo Section 322.005: (5) "Statement of exemption from vaccination", a written determination, signed by a veterinarian, that a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog or cat. The statement shall include the owner's name and address, a description of the animal, the medical reason that precludes vaccination, the date of determination, and the period of time for which the medical condition is reasonably expected to persist;

3. It shall not be considered a violation of this section for an owner to have a dog or cat that is not vaccinated for rabies if such owner possesses a current statement of exemption from vaccination for such animal, however if exposure occurs, the dog or cat is considered to be nonvaccinated.
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

CORRECTION

Postby Kris L. Christine » Fri May 25, 2012 3:33 pm

CORRECTION MISSOURI: The medical exemption clause in SB 566 was removed from the version of the bill which passed on 5/17/12. The "Truly Agreed To and Finally Passed" version of SB 566 which did pass http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bill/tat/SB566.pdf was not posted on the Legislature's website until a week after passage, leading to the incorrect conclusion that the "Perfected" bill text appearing on the Legislature's bill status including waivers http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bill/perf/SB566.pdf had passed. This version of the bill including rabies waivers did not, in fact, pass.

According to the Missouri Department of Agriculture's Legislative Liason, Rachel Mobley, the final version of SB 566 stripped the language which required all dogs and cats to be vaccinated against rabies. Because there is no statutory requirement for rabies vaccination in the final bill or in state law, there was no need for a medical exemption clause in SB 566. Rabies vaccination requirements are determined at the county level.
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

DELAWARE Passes Rabies Bill SB 236

Postby Kris L. Christine » Mon Jul 02, 2012 7:01 am

DELAWARE Rabies Bill SB 236 passed 6/30/12 http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/LIS146.ns ... endocument with insertion of underlined language in the bill text below to prevent veterinarians from issuing 1 or 2 year rabies certificates when a 3 year vaccine is administered.

Text: http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis146.ns ... .html?open "The veterinarian administering the vaccine shall complete the certificate specifying accurately the manufacturer’s specifications of the duration of immunity of the rabies vaccination used ...."
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

Postby Kris L. Christine » Wed Jul 04, 2012 5:12 pm

Rabies 'over-vaccination' targeted in Delaware by Marc Selinger, The Examiner 7/2/12 http://www.examiner.com/article/rabies- ... d-delaware

"Sen. Karen Peterson, the measure’s main sponsor. “It is needed because some veterinarians tell their clients that rabies shots must be administered annually when, in fact, they are using three-year vaccines. This practice can and has resulted in the deaths of dogs who were over-vaccinated.”
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

NEW ORLEANS- Action Alert

Postby Kris L. Christine » Wed Oct 24, 2012 9:02 am

NEW ORLEANS Action Alert: proposal submitted by the Louisiana SPCA (504) 368-5191 to change the annual rabies requirement in New Orleans Municipal Code Chapter 18 http://library.municode.com/index.aspx? ... =Louisiana to 3 years with the following language: Sec. 18-168. "The owner or keeper of every dog or cat between three and four months old shall, at his expense, have such dog or cat vaccinated by a Louisiana-licensed veterinarian with rabies vaccine. Twelve months later, the animal shall be revaccinated. Thereafter such dog or cat shall be revaccinated every 36 months ....."

What You Can Do to Help: Please contact City Council President Stacy Head (504) 658-1060 shead@nola.gov and Council Member Susan Guidry (504) 658-1010 sgguidry@nola.gov to ask them to support the change to 3 years, or attend one of the two following meetings:

Wednesday 10/24/12 City Council Chambers 6pm-8pm
Thursday, 11/01/12 Lousiana SPCA 1700 Mardi Gras Blvd

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Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

PENNSYLVANIA Rabies Waiver SB 155 ACTION ALERT

Postby Kris L. Christine » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:46 am

PENNSYLVANIA Rabies Medical Exemption Bill SB 155 (January 2013)
http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Leg ... 55&pn=0107 has been introduced for a 3rd time by Senator Greenleaf & has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee (link to Senator Greenleaf's memo reintroducing this bill http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/Leg ... ponId=9832).

What You Can Do to Help

Please contact members below asking them to vote to pass this bill, SB 155, for dogs and cats determined by a veterinarian to be too ill to be vaccinated.

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Members of the Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture Committee

Senator Elder Vogel, Chair (717) 787-3076 Evogel@pasen.gov
Senator Michael Waugh, Vice-Chair (717) 787-3817 mwaugh@pasen.gov
Senator Judith L. Schwank, Minority Chair (717) 787-8925 SenatorSchwank@pasenate.com
Senator David G. Argall (717) 787-2637 dargall@pasen.gov
Senator Joseph Scarnati (717) 787-7084 jscarnati@pasen.gov
Senator Mike Brubaker (717) 787-4420 mbrubaker@pasen.gov
Senator Robert Robbins (717) 787-1322 rrobbins@pasen.gov
Senator Gene Yaw (717) 787-3280 gyaw@pasen.gov
Senator Andrew Dinniman (717) 787-5709 andy@pasenate.com
Senator Shirley Kitchen (717) 787-6735 kitchen@pasenate.com
Senator Timothy Solobay (717) 787-1463 tsolobay@pasenate.com

The Rabies Challenge Fund Letter to Pennsylvania State Veterinarian

June 29, 2010

Dr. Craig E. Shultz
State Veterinarian
Department of Agriculture
2301 N. Cameron Street, Room 410
Harrisburg, PA 17110

RE: Medical Exemption Clause for Pennsylvania’s Rabies Prevention and Control Code

Greetings Dr. Shultz:

On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund and the Pennsylvania pet owners who have contacted us requesting assistance, we respectfully request that you, in your capacity as State Veterinarian, initiate medical exemption legislation waiving the rabies immunization requirement in Chapter 16, Subchapter C., §16.43 of the Pennsylvania Code for the small number of animals whose veterinarians have determined their medical conditions preclude vaccination.

The states of Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have medical exemption clauses for sick animals in their rabies immunization laws, and a bill is currently pending in the California legislature to include a waiver in their statutes.

The labels on rabies vaccines state that they are for “the vaccination of healthy cats, dogs…,” and there are medical conditions for which vaccination can jeopardize the life or well-being of an animal. A medical exemption clause would allow Pennsylvania veterinarians to write waivers for animals whose medical conditions (such as those with cancer, kidney/liver failure, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, grand mal seizures, and chronic autoimmune disorders) would be exacerbated by rabies vaccination. The State of Maine inserted such an exemption into their 3 year rabies protocol, 7 M.R.S.A., Sec. 3922(3), which became effective in April 2005 -- not one rabid dog has been reported in the more than 5 years since that date. Colorado’s data reflect the same -- there have been no rabid dogs reported in the state since passage of their medical exemption clause in July 2008.

Maine’s exemption language is as follows:

A. A letter of exemption from vaccination may be submitted for licensure, if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog. Qualifying letters must be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the dog, and the medical reason that precludes vaccination. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter shall indicate a time of expiration of the exemption.

B. A dog exempted under the provisions of paragraph 5 A, above, shall be considered unvaccinated, for the purposes of 10-144 C.M.R. Ch.251, Section 7(B)(1), (Rules Governing Rabies Management) in the case of said dog’s exposure to a confirmed or suspect rabid animal.

The Rabies Challenge Fund strongly urges you to request legislation be submitted on behalf of the Department of Agriculture amending Chapter 16, Subchapter C., §16.43 of the Pennsylvania Code to include medical exemption language for unhealthy animals for which rabies vaccination would compromise their well-being.

Sincerely,

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
http://www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com

cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Pennsylvania General Assembly
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

PENNSYLVANIA SB 155 Rabies Waiver Bill

Postby Kris L. Christine » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:45 am

PENNSYLVANIA Rabies Medical Exemption Bill SB 155 before the full Senate Monday 2/11/13.

The bill received unanimous support from the Senate Agriculture Committee Wednesday http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/leg ... 13&rNbr=35 with an amendment (see amended exemption text Section 2 Subsection F http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Leg ... 55&pn=0368 ) and will be considered by the full Senate on Monday February 11, 2013.

What You Can Do to Help

Please contact your Senators http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/leg ... cfm?body=S & ask them to support SB 155. Share this action alert & ask any of your pet-owning friends in Pennsylvania to contact their Senators to support the bill.

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Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

CALIFORNIA Rabies Bill AB 272 ACTION ALERT

Postby Kris L. Christine » Tue Feb 12, 2013 5:38 pm

CALIFORNIA ACTION ALERT: Rabies Bill AB 272 introduced by Assemblyman Gomez seeks to lower required age of vaccination to 12 weeks from the current 16 weeks http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bil ... duced.html .

What You Can Do to Help:

Please contact Mr. Gomez & ask him to WITHDRAW this bill! assemblymember.gomez@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2051

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Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

Re: RABIES Vaccine & Rabies Laws

Postby Kris L. Christine » Wed Feb 13, 2013 9:44 pm

Below is my letter to Assemblymember Gomez on behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund.

February 13, 2013

Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez
State Capitol
P.O. Box 942849
Sacramento, CA 94249-0051

RE: AB 272 An Act to Amend Section 121690 of the Health and Safety Code Relating to Rabies

Greetings Assemblymember Gomez:

Assembly Bill AB 272 which you have introduced seeking to lower the age at which dogs must be vaccinated against rabies from 4 months to 3 months is ill-advised and scientifically unfounded. The bill seeks to address a problem in the canine community that does not exist, as the California Department of Public Health’s statistics in Reported Animal Rabies Data make abundantly clear: bats and other wildlife pose the major threat of rabies transmission to the public, not dogs under the age of 4 months.

Three cases of rabies in dogs since 2007 (no mention of them being dogs under 4 months of age), as opposed to 981 rabid bats and 147 rabid skunks for the same period, evidences the fact that the current law requiring puppies to be vaccinated against rabies by 4 months of age is effective at controlling rabies in California’s canine community and does not need to be changed.

Lowering the age at which puppies are required to have their first rabies shot from 4 months to 3 months would be counterproductive. Puppies are finishing up their other vaccinations (distemper, hepatitis, parvo) at 12 weeks (3 months) of age, and adding a rabies vaccine into the mix will not only increase the likelihood of adverse reactions, but also the probability that the vaccine components will interfere with each other and neutralize or negate the desired immunological response.

Contributing to the chance that rabies vaccination at 3 months may not be effective is the continued presence of maternal antibodies. According to the 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines, the most common reason for vaccination failure is "the puppy has a sufficient amount of passively acquired maternal antibody (PAMA) to block the vaccine......" [1] They elaborate by reporting that at the ages of 14 to 16 weeks of age, "PAMA should be at a level that will not block active immunization in most puppies (>95%) when a reliable product is used." After the age of 16 weeks (4 months), the maternal antibodies are reduced to a level at which they should not reduce the rabies vaccine's effectiveness.

Vaccinating puppies at too young an age can be ineffective. The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Guidelines reports on Page 16 that: "When vaccinating an animal, the age of the animal, the animal's immune status, and interference by maternal antibodies in the development of immunity must be considered. Research has demonstrated that the presence of passively acquired maternal antibodies interferes with the immune response to many canine vaccines, including CPV, CDV, CAV-2 and rabies vaccines.” [2]

As it currently stands, the law requiring puppies to be vaccinated at 4 months of age is and has been effective at controlling rabies in California’s canine population. There is no epidemiological or scientific rationale for changing this law and prematurely exposing puppies to the potentially harmful, sometimes fatal, adverse side affects of the rabies vaccine prior to the age of 4 months.

On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund and the many concerned California pet owners who have requested our assistance, I strongly urge you to withdraw AB 272.

Respectfully submitted,

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
California Assembly
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2006 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, 28pp.
[2] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, 28pp.
Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
Kris L. Christine
 
Posts: 243
Joined: Mon Feb 04, 2008 5:43 am
Location: THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND

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