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California Rabies Vaccination Exemption Legislation


Guest Bonnie
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Guest Bonnie

When my Greyhound Antony got cancer, I learned that having a rabies vaccination can be harmful, even fatal, to dogs with certain medical conditions such as cancer, epilepsy, and auto-immune diseases. Although California law states that all dogs must have a rabies vaccination every three years, most areas have allowed an exemption if a veterinarian wrote a letter stating that the dog would be harmed by the vaccination. That changed this fall with an edict from the State veterinarian that NO exemptions were to be given for any reason.

 

That edict, and a case of a Springer Spaniel in Chino Hills, caused California Assemblyman Curt Hagman to file a bill that will insert a Medical Exemption Clause into California's rabies law. Assembly Bill AB 2000 would allow owners to get an exemption for a dog with a medical condition that makes a rabies vaccination dangerous. A veterinarian would have to examine the dog every year and provide a letter each year certifying that the dog would be harmed by the vaccination. This bill makes sense for the following reasons:

 

-- Rabies has effectively been eradicated from the pet dog population in California.

-- Studies have shown that dogs who have had rabies vaccinations continue to be immune far longer than three years. The upper limit is still being determined.

-- This legislation puts this important health care decision back with the veterinarian who knows and treats the dog rather than with some state vet who has never seen the dog and is making blanket decisions that do not consider individual cases. (Government’s nose in health care, but don’t let me get off on that!)

 

The bill is now scheduled for discussion in the House Agriculture Committee on April 14, 2010, and Assemblyman Hagman’s office is collecting letters of support to take to the committee. Would you take a minute right now to send a note of support. You can write as an individual, or if you are part of an organization that agrees to support the bill, write on behalf of the organization.

 

Simply write a note stating that you support AB 2000, the rabies exemption law. If you have any examples of dogs that would benefit from this legislation or would like to include a reason for your support, please do so.

IMPORTANT! Assemblyman Hagman’s office needs these letters BY THIS FRIDAY, APRIL 9, so please write a note right now. Please send it directly to Saulo Londono, the staff member in Mr. Hagman’s office who is coordinating this legislation. Fax it to 916/319-2160 (preferred method) or e-mail Saulo.Londono@asm.ca.gov.

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Guest Greyglo

I used to get the rabies exemption for my Bambi here in Jersey. Thank you for sharing. Wishing you much luck with your efforts to help the dogs who would benefit.

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Guest Swifthounds

The state veterinarian in CA made that proclamation because lots of unthinking dog owners were following along blindly when their local municipality of county issued rabies waivers, without realizing that waivers are prohibited by state law in CA. I live in a state with rabies waivers, and would seek them out if I had a dog that exhibited immune compromised status.

 

That's only half the battle though. Waivers are only permissible where the dog's illness or immune compromised status is persistent (ie likely to last a year or more). They also do not exempt you from rabies laws and procedures, just from the fines/penalties associated with not getting the vaccination. Should there be a bite, wild animal contact, or an alleged bite, the "waivered" dog is treated as an unvaccinated animal - the repercussions of which can be substantial depending on where you live.

 

This is whey the work of the Rabies Challenge Fund is so important. It's a first step in establishing, in a legally significant way, that the rabies vaccine lasts much longer than 3 years. Once that work is completed, work can begin on changing federal law so that the vaccine can be licensed for longer than 3 years. Rabies Challenge Fund

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Guest Swifthounds

I live in a state where Rabies Vaccinations are 2 years still :(

 

 

You're in WV, right?

 

WEST VIRGINIA HB4407 PASSED--8/8/10 the new 3 year rabies bill "completed legislative action" (passed by both House & Senate) and was awaiting the Governor's signature to become law.

 

See WV HB4407

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Rabies vaccinations every 2 years in South Dakota, no exceptions. Vets insist on DHLPP every year. I hate it.

 

When we lived in CA we had the dogs titered every year, and they were still showing active immunity 4 years after their rabies and DHLPP shots. The vet thought they might be able to go the rest of their lives with no more boosters.

Kristen with

Penguin (L the Penguin) Flying Penske x L Alysana

Costarring The Fabulous Felines: Squeak, Merlin, Bailey & Mystic

68sgSRq.jpg

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Here is the letter I sent to Assemblyman Hagman last night:

 

Dear Assemblyman Hagman,

 

I am writing to ask you to support AB 2000 the rabies exemption. I am the owner of a 14 year old dog, Sheila, who's immune system was decimated by a disease that caused her to lose her vision. My vet has strongly warned against vaccinating her against rabies due to her condition.

 

This bill makes sense for the following reasons:

 

-- Rabies has effectively been eradicated from the pet dog population in California.

 

-- Studies have shown that dogs who have had rabies vaccinations continue to be immune far longer than three years. The upper limit is still being determined.

 

-- This legislation puts this important health care decision back with the veterinarian who knows and treats the dog rather than with a state vet who has never seen the dog and is making blanket decisions that do not consider individual cases.

I ask you to support AB 2000 in order to prevent animals, such as mine girl Sheila, who can be harmed, as verified by a veterinarian, by vaccinating against rabies.

 

Thank you for your time and consideration.

 

Respectfully,

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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Guest Swifthounds

Rabies vaccinations every 2 years in South Dakota, no exceptions. Vets insist on DHLPP every year. I hate it.

 

When we lived in CA we had the dogs titered every year, and they were still showing active immunity 4 years after their rabies and DHLPP shots. The vet thought they might be able to go the rest of their lives with no more boosters.

 

If the distemper is not a state or local requiremen (in most places it isn't), just say no. If they hassle you, ask the vet why they push annual distemper when no major vet school does so? All the major vet schools have moved to a 3 year or greater protocol and most of them have been of that opinion for over a decade. The AAHA guidelines now echo that opinion as well.

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Guest mountain4greys

I live in a state where Rabies Vaccinations are 2 years still :(

 

 

You're in WV, right?

 

WEST VIRGINIA HB4407 PASSED--8/8/10 the new 3 year rabies bill "completed legislative action" (passed by both House & Senate) and was awaiting the Governor's signature to become law.

 

See WV HB4407

 

You are right!!! I just got an email with the bill attached. It goes into effect in WV on June 13. And that's good timing. In August, my first hound Gracie gets another rabies shot.

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  • 4 weeks later...

Update from Bonnie:

 

In the last couple of weeks many of you have written letters supporting AB 2000, the rabies vaccination exemption bill, and I thank you. Your time and effort was rewarded last week when the bill passed the House Agriculture Committee with six members voting for it, one abstention, and no one voting against it.

 

The bill will now go to the Appropriations Committee, probably sometime next month. Assemblyman Hagman’s office is continuing to collect letters of support, so you can still make your support known. Write as an individual, or if you are part of an organization that agrees to support the bill, write on behalf of the organization.

 

Please send it directly to Saulo Londono, the staff member in Mr. Hagman’s office who is coordinating this legislation. Fax it to 916/319-2160 (preferred method) or e-mail Saulo.Londono@asm.ca.gov.

Sunsands Doodles: Doodles aka Claire, Bella Run Softly: Softy aka Bowie (the Diamond Dog)

Missing my beautiful boy Sunsands Carl 2.25.2003 - 4.1.2014

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