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Updates for 2012

NEW ORLEANS Action Alert
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?clientId=10040&stateId=18&stateName=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
DELAWARE Rabies Bill SB 236 passed 6/30/12

DELAWARE Rabies Bill SB 236 passed 6/30/12   http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/LIS146.nsf/vwLegislation/SB+236?Opendocument 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.
SB 236 Text:  http://legis.delaware.gov/LIS/lis146.nsf/vwLegislation/SB+236/$file/legis.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 ...."

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

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/Bill.aspx?SessionType=R&BillID=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."

AVMA Passes Rabies Waiver 2012

"...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..."

MINNESOTA New State Rabies Vax Guide
MINNESOTA Board of Veterinary Medicine issues Rabies Vaccination Guidance Document 3/1/12 http://www.vetmed.state.mn.us/portals/22/RabiesVaccinationGuidanceDocument.pdf (please copy & paste link into browser if it doesn't work by clicking on it)
"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/images/stories/pdfs/rabies_vaccination_committee_survey_results.pdf   (please copy & paste link into browser if it doesn't work by clicking on it)
NY Vaccine Seminar w/Dr. Schultz
SCHULTZ VACCINE SEMINAR NEW YORK: "The Vaccine Controversy" with Dr. Ronald Schultz, proceeds to benefit The Rabies Challenge Fund http://www.healthydogproject.org/Site/Healthy_Dog_Project.html (please copy & paste link into browser if it doesn't work by clicking on it) hosted by The Healthy Dog Project on May 12, 2012 from 9:30-3:30 at the Fenimore Art Museum Auditorium in Cooperstown, New York.
To register, contact Gloria at healthydogproject@me.com.
MISSOURI Rabies Bill SB 566
A rabies bill, SB 566 http://www.senate.mo.gov/12info/pdf-bill/intro/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

January 14, 20012Senator 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 vaccines must 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.
Kris L. ChristineFounder, Co-TrusteeTHE RABIES CHALLENGE FUNDwww.RabiesChallengeFund.org ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com
cc: Dr. W. Jean DoddsDr. Ronald SchultzMissouri 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. ChristineFounder, Co-TrusteeThe Rabies Challenge Fund


            More information and regular updates on The Rabies Challenge Fund and the concurrent 5 and 7 year challenge studies it is financing can be found at the fund’s website designed by volunteer Andrea Brin at:  

This information was provided by:

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund

The information contained on this site is in no way intended to replace that of proper veterinary advice, diagnosis or treatment.
It is meant to provide resource, so that we can better understand canine health related issues.