The Maine Director of Animal Welfare, Norma Worley, is trying to change the rabies immunization requirement for puppies from 6 months to 3 months despite the fact that Maine hasn't had a documented case of a rabid dog since 2003 and there have only been 5 documented cases since 1994 (14 years), and none of them were noted as being puppies.
Please read the testimony I presented in opposition to Section 7 of LD 2171 at yesterday's hearing before Maine's Agriculture Committee. If you are concerned about this and wish to voice your opposition, PLEASE e-MAIL THE COMMITTEE members by cutting and pasting their addresses below and putting something like Oppose LD 2171 Section 7 in your subject line.
The committee wants to hear from the dog-owning public, and if it doesn't, you may end up being required to add a rabies vaccine into the mix of puppyhood shots (distemper, hepatitis, parvo, etc..) that are being administered at that age.
PERMISSION IS GRANTED TO POST AND CROSS-POST THIS MESSAGE!
Kris L. Christine
Duration of Immunity to Canine Vaccines: What We Know and Don't Know, Dr. Ronald Schultz http://www.cedarbayvet.com/duration_of_immunity.htm
The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are accessible online at http://www.leerburg.com/special_report.htm .
The 2006 American Animal Hospital Association's Canine Vaccine Guidelines are downloadable in PDF format at http://www.aahanet.org/PublicDocumen...s06Revised.pdf .
Veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers,has an excellent presentation on veterinary vaccines at http://www.newvaccinationprotocols.com/.
----- Original Message -----
From: Kris Christine
To: [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]lature.maine.gov; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]; [email protected]
Sent: Monday, February 11, 2008 10:47 AM
Subject: LD 2171--My Testimony
Below is a copy of the testimony I will present today.
Regards, Kris L. Christine
February 11, 2008
TO: The Agriculture, Conservation and Forest Committee
RE: LD 2171, An Act To Amend the Animal Welfare Laws
My name is Kris Christine and I live with my family in Alna, Maine. I am the Founder and Co-Trustee of The Rabies Challenge Fund (RCF). My colleagues -- Dr. W. Jean Dodds of Hemopet, Co-Trustee of the RCF and Dr. Ronald Schultz of The University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, currently conducting 5 & 7 year rabies challenge studies for the RCF -- are the world’s two leading veterinary vaccine research scientists.
I am here to testify against Sec. 7. 7 MRSA §3916, sub-§1-A of LD 2171, which would amend the law to require that puppies be vaccinated against rabies at 3 months of age rather than 6.
There is no scientific or epidemiological data justifying amendment of this law as there has been no increase in rabies in puppies under the age of 6 months in the State of Maine. Dr. Donald Hoenig, Maine’s State Public Health Veterinarian, told me on Wednesday, February 6th that “The last case of canine rabies in Maine was in 2003.......there have only been 5 cases of canine rabies in the past 14 years in Maine…….Cases of canine rabies are EXTREMELY UNUSUAL.”
Five cases of rabies in dogs since 1994 (no mention was made of these cases being puppies under 6 months of age), with the last one being in 2003, evidences the fact that the current law requiring puppies be vaccinated against rabies at 6 months of age is effective at controlling rabies in Maine’s canine community and does not need to be changed.
Vaccinating puppies at too young an age can be ineffective. The 2003 American Animal Hospital Association's (AAHA) Canine Vaccine Guidelines reports on Page 17 (Attachment #1) that: “…when puppies are first vaccinated at > 16 weeks of age (an age when passively acquired antibodies generally don’t cause interference), one dose of an MLV vaccine, or two doses of a killed vaccine, are adequate to stimulate an immune response.”
On Page 16 of the 2003 AAHA Guidelines (Attachment #2), it states 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."
The 2006 AAHA Guidelines (Attachment #3), states on Page 13 as the most common reason for vaccination failure that “the puppy has a sufficient amount of passively acquired maternal antibody (PAMA) to block the vaccine......" The older the puppy is when it receives its first rabies vaccination, the more likely it will elicit the desired immunological response – as demonstrated by the extraordinarily low number of canine rabies cases in Maine over a 14 year period under the current 6 month vaccination protocol for puppies.
Rabies, a “killed” vaccine, is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and is associated with clinically significant adverse reactions -- it should only be given when warranted. According to the 2003AAHA Guidelines (Page 16) (Attachment #2), "...killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease)." Further, the AAHA task force reports on Page 18 (Attachment #4) that, "Bacterial vaccines, especially killed whole organism products …..are much more likely to cause adverse reactions than subunit or live bacterial vaccines or MLV vaccines, especially if given topically. Several killed bacterial products are used as immunomodulators/adjuvants. Thus, their presence in a combination vaccine product may enhance or suppress the immune response or may cause an undesired response (e.g., IgE hypersensitivity or a class of antibody that is not protective)."
Adverse reactions such 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 linked to rabies vaccinations.
In sum, the law, as it currently stands requiring puppies to be vaccinated at 6 months of age is and has been effective at controlling rabies in Maine’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 6 months.
Kris L. Christine
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
I understand your fear but...5 cases of canine rabies in 14 years is a HUGE number considering other states and the seriousness of the disease.
That's not a lot according to the Maine's Public Health Veterinarian, Dr. Donald Hoenig, who keeps the statistics. He says it's very rare for them to see rabid dogs in his department, which is responsible for testing all suspected cases. He told me they do see rabid cats, skunks, coyotes, porcupines, and bats -- but that a case of a rabid dog is "extremely unusual".
One or more of those cases were in wolf hybrids, and it is said that wolf hybrids don't mount an immunological response to rabies vaccination.
I'm sure that in comparison to cats and wild animals that's very true. But of course that is in part because of laws requiring rabies vaccinations in dogs.
As a vet tech many years ago we had a dog in quarantine (NH) because he had been attacked by a rabid fox. His vaccination was 6 months overdue. It was just terrible what that dog and his family went through (although in the end everyone was fine).
I agree that the law should accept titers in lew of vaccinations if people go that route. I'm just fearful that people will forego vaccinations altogether if they get too scared of the occassional dog/cat with a reaction. I've gone through distemper and parvo outbreaks and seen the diarrhea, death and permanent disability. I just don't want to see that again.
There certainly needs more testing (or at least the truth to come out) about how long vaccinations actually last. There is an element of capitalism involved here that's ugly. But for many the cost of titers is more than they can afford and I don't want their dogs/cats unprotected. If too many are left unprotected we're in for an epidemic.
But thank you for the dissemination of information.
I think the salient point here is the change to require this highly negative reactive vaccine from 6 months (25.8 weeks of age) to 3 months (12.9 WEEKS of age.)
I consider this a legislature/committee practicing veterinary medicine without a license.
The usual earliest date (6 months) is in the print info. sheet packed with the vaccine distributed by the vaccine manufacturer. As little actual trial research as these manufacturers do, they recommend the 6 months minimum for a reason - the overwhelming number of systemic adverse reactions & death when administered to pups younger than 6 months in THEIR OWN FEW TRIALS !!! The statements on the insert sheet are put there to protect themselves from civil liability.
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went." author Will Rogers
Auggie 12/29/95 ~ 01/15/09
I agree with talleyJudy
Puff [YF, AKC field line (from competing HT/FT breeder) 62 lbs, dob: 8-'01]
Bess [BF, AKC bench line (from competing show breeder) 55 lbs., 1967-1981] "Poor Bess, the Wonder Dog":
To give you a sense of who we are dealing with here in Maine's Director of Animal Welfare, Norma Worley, who introduced the legislation to change the law from 6 months to 3 months, please read the e-mail below from 2004 when I successfully petitioned the state to change its canine rabies immunization requirements from 2 to 3 years.
Just imagine having a criminal record for being tardy in boostering your pet! I question this woman's judgment.
----- Original Message -----
From: Worley, Norma J
To: Haines, Philip W. ; Doak, Shelley ; '[email protected]' ; 'Lousie Lester (E-mail)' ; Gensheimer, Kathleen F. ; Gholson, Robert ; Mosher, Peter ; Fraser, Christine ; Hoenig, Donald E ; 'Bill Bryant (E-mail)'
Cc: 'Peter & Kris Christine' ; Mills, Dora A. ; Gauvreau, Paul
Sent: Monday, June 07, 2004 3:44 PM
Subject: RE: First Draft of amended rule
I like the look of this rule! I am considering drafting legislation that
would make it a criminal or civil violation not to have a current rabies
vaccination for dogs and cats. This way if the owner does allow the rabies
vaccination to expire after licensing the dog it would be a separate offense
and the owner could be summons to court.
What's everyone's thought on this?
Norma J. Worley
Animal Welfare Program
28 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333-0028
Is this Norma Worley off her rocker ? She better wake up and realize there are "bigger fish to fry" than trying to give a criminal record to a person for not vaccinating for rabies.
I will do my part, and e-mail these legislatures. I don't believe we need to change the age for vaccinating either.
He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.
Scary, isn't it!
Maine residents pay her salary to come up with bizarre ideas like that.