Notice: California dog owners
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  • NOTICE: CALIFORNIA DOG OWNERS – On 12/21/09 Dr. Ben Sun (916) 552-9744, Interim Chief of California's Veterinary Public Health Section, designated **ALL COUNTIES in California as "rabies areas" http://www.cdph.ca.gov/HealthInfo/discond/Documents/2010_LHD_Rabies_Declaration_Letter.pdf.

    The declaration states: "The Director of the Department of Public Health has declared all counties in California as 'rabies areas' in 2010. This declaration is based on the ongoing cyclic nature of rabies in California wildlife, and the resulting threat of exposure to domestic animals, livestock, and humans."

    An April 5, 2010 amendment to AB2000 http://www.leginfo.ca.gov./pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_1951-2000/ab_2000_bill_20100405_amended_asm_v98.html which seeks to add a medical exemption clause for sick dogs in designated "rabies areas," would included the following language:

    " (2) A dog exempt from the canine antirabies vaccination shall be kept quarantined as directed by the local health officer, until the
    dog's medical condition has resolved and the administration of the canine antirabies vaccine occurs."

    This bill is currently in the Senate Rules Committee for consideration. The phone number for the California Senate Rules Committee is (916) 651-4120 and the Chair of the Committee is Senator Darrell Steinberg e-mail: Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4006

    Under current law, the Department of Public Health is authorized to require annual rabies vaccinations in designated "rabies areas," which includes ALL counties in California for 2010. With the passage of AB2000 as amended on April 5th, dogs with medical exemptions would be required to be quarantined, which could be in an off-site pound or facility as determined by the local health officer, until their medical condition resolves or they are given a rabies vaccine.

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  • PERMISSION GRANTED TO POST AND CROSS-POST

    At the bottom of this post is a copy of the letter I sent on behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund on this issue.

    **What You Can Do to Help

    Call the Senate Rules Committee and call or send an e-mail to all its members telling them to withdraw Paragraph (2) of the amendment pertaining to quarantining medically exemption animals and strike language in Section 121690 (b) of the law authorizing the Health Department to impose annual or biennial rabies vaccinations in "rabies areas."

    The phone number for the California Senate Rules Committee is (916) 651-4120
    Chair of the Committee is Senator Darrell Steinberg e-mail: Senator.Steinberg@senate.ca.gov (916) 651-4006
    Vice-chair Sam Aanestad Senator.Aanestad@senate.ca.gov (916) 651-4004
    Gilbert Cedillo Senator.Cedillo@senate.ca.gov (916) 651-4022
    Robert Dutton Senator.Dutton@senate.ca.gov (916) 651-4031
    Jenny Oropeza Senator.Oropeza@senate.ca.gov (916) 651-4028
    Bill Co-Sponsor Assembly Member Curt Hagman Assemblymember.Hagman@assembly.ca.gov **(916) 319-2060

    Letter from The Rabies Challenge Fund**

    May 15, 2010

    Senator Darrell Steinberg, Chair
    Senate Rules Committee
    State Capitol, Room 205
    Sacramento, CA 94248-0001

    RE: Amended Rabies Bill AB2000

    Greetings Senator Steinberg:

    The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust respectfully requests that the Senate Rules Committee withdraw Paragraph (2) of the April 5th amendment to AB2000 which mandates that ?A dog exempt from the canine antirabies vaccination shall be kept quarantined, as directed by the local health officer, until the dog's medical condition has resolved and the administration of the canine antirabies vaccine occurs.? This amendment seeks to address a public health threat which does not exist in the canine community, and which will, if passed, pose a life-threatening risk to dogs whose health is already compromised.

    California?s Department of Public Health (CDPH) statistics clearly demonstrate that bats and other wildlife pose the greatest rabies threat to the public, not dogs. From 2001 through 2008, the CDPH reported 2 cases of human rabies contracted in the state, both of which were transmitted by bats. Further, according to data contained in the annual Reported Animal Rabies by County and Species issued by the CDPH, from the period of 2001 through May 7, 2010, (throughout which time all counties had been designated ?rabies areas?), dogs were among the species with the least number of rabies cases in California. During the cited surveillance period 1,440 bats, 462 skunks, 74 foxes, 11 cats, and 5 dogs were reported as rabid.

    The Center for Disease Control documented 32 cases of domestically-contracted cases of human rabies in the U.S. from 1995 through 2008 ? 30 illnesses were transmitted by bats, 1 by fox, and 1 by raccoon. Since 1995, there have been no reported cases of human rabies from exposure to an indigenous dog in this country, and no demonstrated need exists for the California Legislature to pass harsh rabies regulations targeting dogs.

    Further, The Rabies Challenge Fund asks that the Committee strike the following bolded, underlined language in the current law under Section 121690 (b) which is reiterated in AB2000 as follows: _?(b) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of four months, shall, **at intervals of time not more often than once a year, as may be prescribed by the department, procure its vaccination by a licensed veterinarian with a canine antirabies vaccine approved by, and in a manner prescribed by, the department, unless a licensed veterinarian determines, **on an annual basis, that the dog may have a potentially lethal reaction to the canine antirabies vaccine. is currently immune compromised or has a documented medical record of a preexisting condition, including, but not limited to, an immune mediated disease, or a serious adverse reaction to a prior canine antirabies vaccine.?

    Mandating rabies vaccinations more often than once every 3 years, even in designated ?rabies areas,? goes against the recommendations of all the national veterinary medical associations, including the American Veterinary Medical Association [1] and the Center for Disease Control?s National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian?s Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control 2008 which states that, **?Vaccines used in state and local rabies control programs should have at least a 3-year duration of immunity. This constitutes the most effective method of increasing the proportion of immunized dogs and cats in any population.?

    Section 121690 (b) of the Health and Safety Code may violate California?s Consumer Protection Law by requiring pet owners to pay for a veterinary medical procedure from which their animals derive no benefit and may be harmed. The section of the law requiring biennial or annual rabies boosters in ?rabies areas? may have been intended to achieve enhanced immunity to the rabies virus by giving the vaccine more often than the federal 3-year licensing standard, but, more frequent vaccination than is required to fully immunize an animal will not achieve further disease protection. Redundant rabies shots needlessly expose dogs to the risk of adverse effects while obligating residents to pay unnecessary veterinary medical fees. The American Veterinary Medical Association's 2001 Principles of Vaccination state that **?Unnecessary stimulation of the immune system does not result in enhanced disease resistance, and may increase the risk of adverse post-vaccination events.?

    The 3 year rabies vaccines currently licensed by the USDA for dogs all have a minimum duration of immunity of 3 years proven by challenge studies (the definitive standard in vaccine research) conducted according to the licensing standards set forth in USDA Title 9 Part 113.209. Serological studies performed by Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine show a minimum duration of immunity of 7 years. According to the Center for Disease Control, **"A fully vaccinated dog or cat is unlikely to become infected with rabies?. In a nationwide study of rabies among dogs and cats in 1988,?.no documented vaccine failures occurred among dogs or cats that had received two vaccinations. " [2]

    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, ?[3] auto-immune hemolytic anemia,[4] 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.[5] [6] It is medically unsound for this vaccine to be given more often than is necessary to maintain immunity.

    A ?killed? vaccine, the rabies vaccine contains adjuvants to enhance the immunological response. In 1999, the World Health Organization **?classified veterinary vaccine adjuvants as Class III/IV carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk, "[7] and the results of a study published in the August 2003 Journal of Veterinary Medicine documenting fibrosarcomas at the presumed injection sites of rabies vaccines stated, **?In both dogs and cats, the development of necrotizing panniculitis at sites of rabies vaccine administration was first observed by Hendrick & Dunagan (1992). ? [8] According to the 2003 AAHA Guidelines, **"…killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease)." [9]

    On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust and the many concerned California pet owners who have requested our assistance, I strongly urge you to withdraw Paragraph (2) of the April 5th amendment to AB2000 and strike the language in the current law cited in the bill authorizing the CDPH to impose annual or biennial rabies boosters in ?rabies areas.?

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

    cc: W. Jean Dodds, DVM
    Ronald D. Schultz, PhD
    Assembly Member Curt Hagman

    –------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    [1] American Veterinary Medical Association, Veterinary Biologics, June 2007, ?Rabies Vaccination Procedures?

    [2] Immunization Practices Advisory Committee, Rabies Prevention?United States, 1991 Recommendations of the Immunization Practices Advisory Committee, Center for Disease Control Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report March 22, 1991/40(RR03);1-19

    [3] 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

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

    [5] 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.

    [6] 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.

    [7] IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Volume 74, World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Feb. 23-Mar. 2, 1999, p. 24, 305, 310.

    [8] 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.

    [9] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, 28pp. and ibid. 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Revised, 28 pp.****************_

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  • Thanks for posting Kris! We're going backwards here in CA! I will send out emails and cross post.

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  • Thank YOU for helping!

    Kris

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  • UPDATE: Assembly Member Curt Hagman and his staff are responding to the public outcry over the quarantine clause in AB 2000 and working hard to find suitable language to substitute.

    Dog Owners Say Rabies Vaccination Exemption Could Lead To Quarantines, by Lonnie Wong Fox 40 May 20, 2010 http://www.fox40.com/news/headlines/ktxl-tv-rabiesvaccinationrestrictions,0,5632202.story

    "That amounts to a lifetime quarantine for her dog.

    But Hagman says that was not his intention. He says he's trying to remove the word "quarantine" from the bill so that animals in Louie's situation would not be confiscated."

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  • THAT is ridiculous! If that were the case, Zina would never be allowed to live her life. Zina-because of a Veterinarian's stupidity, will never have any vaccines in her lifetime, nor flea meds, nor heartworm meds. So, in fact, because of their exact laws, my dog would suffer if I lived in CA. Stupidity at it's finest in government strikes again!

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  • Yes, that is why we are working to get this language removed from the bill.

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  • @Kris_Christine:

    Yes, that is why we are working to get this language removed from the bill.

    Again, nice work on this Kris!! These bills can be passed so quickly and quietly that we have to be very diligent in keeping an eye on what bills the CA assembly tries to put through.

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  • Here is the current definition of Quarantine in the California code relating to rabies.

    121580. "Quarantine," as used in this chapter, means the strict confinement, upon the private premises of the owner, under restraint by leash, closed cage, or paddock, of all animals specified in the order of the department.

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  • P

    I find all this vaccine info very interesting. Fortunately we do not have Rabies appear very often in the UK so there is no routine Rabies vaccination for UK born dogs unless they go abroad. It is good to know that there is a Rabies Chahlllenge Fund to keep an eye on such matters.

    Not quite Rabies but currently however we have a campaign going against yearly vaccine boosters. Information/proof that these yearly boosters are unnecessary comes from scientists in the USA so thank you to all of them for information which is not however validated here.

    It seems to be a hard struggle because the veterinary establishment in the main supports the drug companies who market these vaccines. We have had many instances of dogs having developed serious problems after vaccination and I myself had a Basenji eventually die after his initial vaccination. Obviously i feel very strongly about this and it is good to know that there are many enlightened people in the USA who keep us up to date with research.

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  • @Patty:

    I find all this vaccine info very interesting. Fortunately we do not have Rabies appear very often in the UK so there is no routine Rabies vaccination for UK born dogs unless they go abroad. It is good to know that there is a Rabies Chahlllenge Fund to keep an eye on such matters.

    Not quite Rabies but currently however we have a campaign going against yearly vaccine boosters. Information/proof that these yearly boosters are unnecessary comes from scientists in the USA so thank you to all of them for information which is not however validated here.

    It seems to be a hard struggle because the veterinary establishment in the main supports the drug companies who market these vaccines. We have had many instances of dogs having developed serious problems after vaccination and I myself had a Basenji eventually die after his initial vaccination. Obviously i feel very strongly about this and it is good to know that there are many enlightened people in the USA who keep us up to date with research.

    Money and drugs! The pharmaceuticals have become as influential as the oil companies. I've never seen so many drug ads on TV.

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  • @lvoss:

    Here is the current definition of Quarantine in the California code relating to rabies.

    121580. "Quarantine," as used in this chapter, means the strict confinement, upon the private premises of the owner, under restraint by leash, closed cage, or paddock, of all animals specified in the order of the department.

    That language is not referenced in Section 121690, and the quarantine language currently in the bill states that:

    " (2) A dog exempt from the canine antirabies vaccination shall be kept quarantined as directed by the local health officer, until the dog's medical condition has resolved and the administration of the canine antirabies vaccine occurs."

    The bill does not state that an exempt dog shall be quarantined pursuant to Section 121580.

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  • Nor does it say the dog will be confiscated and quarantined off premises either.

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  • I do not support this bill but I do not think it is the right tact to say things that are not stated in the bill. It does not say animals will be confiscated, it says they will be quarantined as directed by the local health officer. That does not mean impounded.

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  • Ivoss,

    Actually, The Rabies Challenge Fund wants to support this bill, which would provide a medical exemption clause; however we cannot support it with the current quarantine clause, which is why we are seeking its removal.

    The quarantine clause states that quarantine shall be as directed by the local health officer.

    Further in subsection (e) it states: The governing body of each city, city and county, or county shall maintain or provide for the maintenance of a pound system and a rabies control program for the purposes of carrying out and enforcing this section."

    This language leaves open the possibility that a local health officer could determine that medically exempted dogs should be impounded.

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  • It does but it does not say they must. In all honesty, I would expect that the bill will include language about restrictions on animals that are not current on their vaccinations even if the reason is medical. I would rather see language accepting titres for medically exempt animals.

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  • Ivoss, we would LOVE to see titer language in the law, but there's next to no chance that will happen at this point. As far as I know, there is no state law with titer language in it, and the fact of the matter is, we don't have the scientific data setting a rabies titer standard for dogs yet. Dr. Schultz is working on that as part of the 5 and 7 year challenge studies The Rabies Challenge Fund is financing. Hopefully, we'll have that data in 1 1/2 years so we can get titer acceptance clauses written into the laws.

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  • UPDATE California Rabies Bill AB 2000 – Jan Rasmusen, a Friend of The Rabies Challenge Fund, contacted Saulo Londono in AM Hagman's office Tuesday (5/25/10). Mr. Londono sent her an e-mail which said:

    "We have indeed come to the understanding that we will remove Paragraph 2. I have put the request into Leg Counsel to have language written as such and I expect to receive that before the week is over. I will then immediately pass the amendment to the Senate Health Committee, and it is up to them to put it in print. With that said, I think the final language should be available by middle of next week. I have requested a hearing for this bill on June 23rd, at 1:30pm, in the Senate Health Committee. "

    We are waiting to see the revised bill in print.

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  • REVISED CALIFORNIA AB 2000 – PLEASE SUPPORT

    The quarantine clause in AB 2000 inserting a medical exemption in California's rabies law has been removed http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_1951-2000/ab_2000_bill_20100602_amended_sen_v97.pdf , and The Rabies Challenge Fund is asking dog owners to voice their support for this bill. The bill has a hearing set for June 23rd in the Senate Health Committee. Please contact the members of the Senate Health Committee below and ask them to pass the bill.

    PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST

    http://www.senate.ca.gov/ftp/sen/committee/STANDING/HEALTH/_home1/PROFILE.HTM

    Senate Health Committee Phone: (916) 651-4111

    Elaine Alquist (Chair) senator.alquist@sen.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4013, Fax: (916)-324-283
    Tony Stickland (Vice-Chair) senator.strickland@sen.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4019 Fax: (916) 324-7544
    Samuel Aanestad Senator.Aanestad@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4004 Fax: (916) 445-7750
    Gilbert Cedillo Phone: (916) 651-4022 Fax: (916) 327-8817
    Dave Cox senator.cox@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4001 Fax: (916) 324-2680
    Mark Leo senator.leo@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4003 Fax: (916) 445-4722
    Gloria Negrete McLeod senator.mcleod@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4032 Fax: (916) 445-0128
    Fran Pavley senator.pavley@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4023 Fax: (916) 324-4823
    Gloria Romero senator.romero@senate.ca.gov Phone: (916) 651-4024 Fax: (916) 445-0485
    Bill Co-Sponsor Assembly Member Curt Hagman Assemblymember.Hagman@assembly.ca.gov Phone: (916) 319-2060 Fax: (916) 319-2160

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  • P

    Congratulations on winnig the fight to have the clause removed. I hope that now the bill will be passed.

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  • Letter from The Rabies Challenge Fund

    June 4, 2010

    Senator Elaine K. Alquist, Chair
    Senate Health Committee
    State Capitol, Room 5080
    Sacramento, CA 95814

    RE: Revised Rabies Medical Exemption Bill AB 2000

    Greetings Senator Alquist:

    The Rabies Challenge Fund strongly supports the June 2nd revision of AB 2000, which will insert a medical exemption clause for dogs into Section 121690 of California?s Health and Safety Code, and we respectfully request that the Senate Health Committee vote to support this bill.

    Sincerely,

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

    cc: W. Jean Dodds, DVM
    Ronald D. Schultz, PhD
    Assembly Member Curt Hagman

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