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CALIFORNIA Rabies Bill AB 272 ACTION ALERT

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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 3:37pm PST 
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/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_bil l_20130207_introduced.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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Edited by author Wed Feb 13, '13 7:34pm PST

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Saya

I want to play!
 
 
Barked: Tue Feb 12, '13 8:04pm PST 
This is pretty dumb. I hope this doesn't pass.
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Wed Feb 13, '13 7:34pm PST 
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
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[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.
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Fri Mar 1, '13 9:28am PST 
CALIFORNIA RABIES BILL AB 272 seeking to lower the required age of vaccination for dogs from 16 weeks to 12 weeks will have a hearing 3/13/13 before the Assembly Agriculture Comittee http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_bil l_20130207_introduced.html.

What You Can Do to Help:

Contact Committee Chair Susan Eggman assemblymember.eggman@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2013 & committee members below and ask them TO REJECT this bill.

California Agriculture Committee Members

Susan T. Eggman, Chair assemblymember.eggman@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2013
Kristen Olsen, Vice Chair assemblymember.olsen@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2012
Toni Atkins assemblymember.atkins@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2078
Brian Dahle assemblymember.dahle@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2001
Richard Pan assemblymember.pan@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2009
Bill Quirk assemblymember.quirk@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2020
Marioko Yamada assemblymember.yamada@assembly.ca.gov (916) 319-2020

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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Thu Mar 14, '13 4:47pm PST 
URGENT ACTION ALERT: CALIFORNIA AB 272, which would lower the age at which puppies must be vaccinated from four months to three months just passed the Assembly Agriculture Committee and has been assigned to the Assembly Appropriations Committee http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_vot e_20130313_000001_asm_comm.html .

What You Can Do to Help:

Contact Appropriations Committee members Mike Gatto (Chair) (916) 319-2043 assemblymember.gatto@asm.ca.gov or staffer Kevin Liao Kevin.Liao@asm.ca.gov & Asm. Susan T. Eggman assemblymember.eggman@asm.ca.gov (916) 319-2013 or staffer Erin Flannery Erin.Flannery@asm.ca.gov & ask them to OPPOSE AB 272.

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Letter from The Rabies Challenge Fund to Assembly Members Gatto & Eggman is below. If you would like a copy of the e-mail correspondence between Dr. Karen Ehnert, Dr. Dodds and me, please send me a request at ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com & I will e-mail it to you.

(link to committee comments on AB 272 http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_cfa _20130311_134658_asm_comm.html)

March 14, 2013

Assemblymember Mike Gatto, Chair Assemblymember Susan T. Eggman, Chair

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

Greetings Assemblymembers Gatto and Eggman :

There are some misrepresentations and inaccuracies relating to AB 272 which should be clarified before another vote is taken on this measure. On February 14, Dr. W. Jean Dodds, a California veterinarian, and Co-Trustee of the Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust, corrected and clarified this misinformation regarding AB 272 in an e-mail to the Acting Director of Veterinary Public Health, Dr. Karen Ehnert, but apparently this information was not conveyed to the bill sponsor or members of the Agriculture or Appropriations Committees (see attached e-mail), or it was disregarded.

The Agriculture Committee comments on AB 272 report that “California is the only state that sets a minimum age of four months for dogs rabies vaccination.” This statement is false. Only twelve (12) out of fifty (50) states require that dogs be vaccinated by 3 months (Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania) . Thirteen (13) states require that dogs be vaccinated by the age of 4 months (Arkansas, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia); one (1) state (Wisconsin) requires vaccination by 5 months; and six (6) require vaccination by the age of 6 months (Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee, West Virginia), and twelve (12) refer to the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ Rabies Compendium which recommends that rabies vaccines should be administered according to the manufacturers’ labeled instructions. Rabies vaccine labels indicate that they may be given at 3 months, not that they must be. It is implied in the comments that the Compendium advises that puppies should or must be vaccinated at 3 months of age, which is not the case.

Merial’s IMRAB rabies vaccine labels indicate that they "can be administered to puppies as early as 3 months of age" and Pfizer’s Defensor rabies vaccine labels advise that they are for dogs and cats “3 months of age or older.” These instructions denote the minimum age at which it is safe to administer rabies vaccines (i.e., do not administer before 3 months of age) and not a minimum age at which they must be administered to be effective. Scientific data reflect that the later a puppy can be vaccinated, the more likely the vaccine will have the desired immunological response due to reduced interference of maternal antibodies, which are still present in 3 month old puppies. The 2011 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines reports that: "Because dogs older than 14-16 wk of age are not likely to have interfering levels of MDA [maternally derived antibodies], administration of a single initial dose of an infectious vaccine to an adult dog can be expected to induce a protective immune response. ..... MDA is the most common reason early vaccination fails to immunize." [1]

Contributing to the likelihood of failure to achieve a proper immune response to rabies vaccination at 3 months is that puppies are finishing up their initial vaccination series of distemper, hepatitis, parvovirus at 12 weeks (3 months) of age. Addition of a rabies vaccine into the mix will not only increase the possibility of adverse reactions, but also the probability that the vaccine components will interfere with each other and neutralize or negate an appropriate immunological response. [2] [3]

In her e-mailed message concerning AB 272 to Dr. Dodds and me, Dr. Ehnert wrote that: “to clarify, the one word change allows for dogs to be vaccinated at 3 months of age, but does not mandate it.” This is a misrepresentation of the bill as worded and the committee summary declaring that “this bill changes, from four months to three months, the age at which a dog is required to be vaccinated against rabies." Addition of a clause such as "or previously vaccinated at the age of three months in another state or country with a rabies vaccine licensed by the USDA" to the current law requiring vaccination at four months would accomplish that goal without changing the mandated age of vaccination to three months.

Dr. Ehnert also explained that one of the reasons she has “pushed” for this change is she and the Health Officers Association “… want to give owners the opportunity to vaccinate puppies earlier when there is increased risk. The past two years we have seen a 4 -5 fold increase in bat rabies in LA County, with some areas being hot spots.” There has been no escalation in canine rabies corresponding to the increase in bat rabies, which according to the Department of Health’s Reported Animal Rabies, for Los Angeles County there were no cases of rabid dogs from 2010 through 2012, while there were 114 rabid bats (22 in 2010, 38 in 2011, and 54 in 2012—representing an increase of nearly 2.5 times instead of a 4-5 fold increase). Statewide, there have only been three cases of rabies in dogs since 2007, as opposed to 981 rabid bats and 147 rabid skunks for the same period, which 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.

To address the concern over a rising increase in rabies in the bat population spilling over into the domestic pet population, Dr. Ehnert and other members of the Health Officers Association of California should request introduction of a bill requiring that all cats in California be vaccinated against rabies, as cats are reported to be 4 times as likely to be infected with rabies as dogs.[4] The Chair of the Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control Committee, Dr. Catherine M. Brown, stated that “because more rabies cases are reported annually involving cats…than dogs, vaccination of cats should be required.”

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, a registered California Charitable Trust, and the many concerned California pet owners who have requested our assistance, I strongly urge you to oppose passage of AB 272 as it is currently written.

Respectfully submitted,

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

Pages: 8

Attachment: 1

cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Assemblymember Jimmy Gomez
California Assembly
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[1] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2011 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, p.12
[2] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, p.16
[3] Moore, et als., Adverse Events Diagnosed Within Three Days of Vaccine Administration in Dogs; Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association., Vol. 227, No. 7, October 1, 2005
[4] Blanton JD, et al. Rabies Surveillance in the United States During 2008. Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association 2009; 235: 676-690.
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Sat Apr 6, '13 1:14pm PST 
URGENT ACTION ALERT: CALIFORNIA AB 272, which would lower the age at which puppies must be vaccinated from four months to three months will be heard by the Assembly Appropriations Committee on Wednesday April 10th http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_bil l_20130404_status.html

Please contact Appropriations Committee Chair Mike Gatto (916) 319-2043 assemblymember.gatto@asm.ca.gov & ask the committee to OPPOSE AB 272.
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 7, '13 2:50pm PST 
Dr. W. Jean Dodds' Interview with Dr. Karen Becker on California AB 272 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZzmVtfzO08
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Thu Apr 11, '13 7:15am PST 
URGENT CALIFORNIA AB 272, lowering the age at which puppies must be vaccinated against rabies from 4 to 3 months will have 2nd full House consideration TODAY. Contact your legislators & tell them to OPPOSE AB 272 http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.

Unfortunately, Appropriations unanimously passed this yesterday, despite the bill summary http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_cfa _20130409_152244_asm_comm.html indicating that, as currently worded, it will not accomplish the authors' stated goals. California Assembly calendar for today ftp://leginfo.public.ca.gov/pub/dailyfile/asm/assembly_floor .

Dr. W. Jean Dodds' video interview with Dr. Karen Becker on California AB 272 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZzmVtfzO08 .
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 14, '13 7:01am PST 
CALIFORNIA AB 272, lowering the age at which puppies must be vaccinated against rabies from 4 to 3 months will have its 2nd full House vote Monday April 15. Please contact your legislators & tell them to OPPOSE AB 272 http://findyourrep.legislature.ca.gov/.

Assembly Calender for Monday April 15th ftp://leginfo.public.ca.gov/pub/dailyfile/asm/assembly_floor
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Member Since
01/28/2008
 
 
Barked: Sun Apr 21, '13 7:13am PST 
URGENT ALERT: California Rabies Bill AB 272 http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/13-14/bill/asm/ab_0251-0300/ab_272_bil l_20130419_amended_asm_v97.pdf, which seeks to lower the age at which dogs must be vaccinated from 4 months to 3 months, will soon be scheduled for a final Assembly vote, and if passed, it will move on to the Senate. Prior Assembly votes supporting AB 272 are baffling as all 4 Assembly analyses (three of which contain inaccurate information on state rabies laws) indicate AB 272 will NOT accomplish the stated goals of its sponsors, the Health Officers Association of California.

Lowering the required age of rabies vaccination to 3 months increases the likelihood of adverse vaccine reactions as well as failure to immunize due to residual maternal antibodies and interference from other puppy vaccines given at 3 months. There is significant opposition to AB 272 from The Rabies Challenge Fund, The California Federation of dog Clubs, dog organizations, veterinarians, and private individuals.

What You Can Do to Help

Contact your Assemblymembers and Senator, by phone or e-mail, (click here to find your Legislators http://www.legislature.ca.gov/legislators_and_districts/legislators/ your_legislator.html) and ask them to OPPOSE Rabies Bill AB 272.

Dr. Dodds' Interview on AB 272 with Dr. Karen Becker https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kZzmVtfzO08 .
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