April 17, 2010

UPDATE: Sanity Reigns in CA AB2689



Sanity has been restored to California AB2689 proposed by Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita), chair of the Local Government Committee
 "The amendments are up, and as Smyth's office promised, the controversial language about 3 months of age for the initial rabies vaccination has been deleted from AB 2689. :-)
This bill has reverted to its original positive intent, which is to facilitate easier methods for dog owners to send proof of rabies vaccination to their local government. As it stands now, California dog owners have to snail mail paperwork proof of rabies vaccination, which is a hassle. AB 2689 will allow for things like online forms on the Internet, where the dog owner just enters the rabies vaccination number. This is a win-win for everybody.

Other than that and some very minor wordsmithing, AB 2689 doesn't change existing law.

http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/09-10/bill/asm/ab_2651-2700/ab_2689_bill_20100415_amended_asm_v97.html

Baffling how a bill that initially sought to let pet owners communicate with AC by using email could morph into something so regressive and threatening. Thanks to Laura Sanborn for this update. Thanks also to Kris Christine, The Rabies Challenge Fund and all the dog and cat lovers who jumped into action. 

Way to go people!  

April 14, 2010

CA Bill AB2689 Revision: Keep the Pressure On

Nothing like focused public pressure to get results. And no one is more focused than a dog and cat lover protecting the family pets from dumb legislation to roll back rabies law reform. GO ANIMAL LOVERS Keep the pressure on.

Per Kris Christine, The Rabies Challenge Fund, as posted to her Facebook page,  public response has caused Assembly Member Cameron Smyth's office to withdraw the language in AB 2689 lowering the age of puppy vaccination from 4 months to 3 months. However, as the law currently stands, the State Public Health Officer can require annual rabies vaccinations in rabies areas. Please call (916) 319-2038, (916) 319-3958, or email committee members (contact information below) and ask them to strike the language in the current law (121690) authorizing the State Health Officer to impose annual rabies vaccinations.

Below is a copy of her e-mail to AM Cameron Smyth's assistant, Kevin O'Neill. To access the law in question, go to this link http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/calaw.html , click on "Health and Safety Code" and enter 121690 for the keyword .

PERMISSION GRANTED TO POST AND CROSS-POST this notice, please spread the word and take action to change this law.

Cameron Smyth - Chair Rep-38 (916) 319-2038 Assemblymember.Smyth@assembly.ca.gov
Anna M. Caballero - Vice Chair Dem-28 (916) 319-2028 Assemblymember.Caballero@assembly.ca.gov
Juan Arambula Ind-31 (916) 319-2031 Assemblymember.Arambula@assembly.ca.gov
Steven Bradford Dem-51 (916) 319-2051 Assemblymember.Bradford@assembly.ca.gov
Mike Davis Dem-48 (916) 319-2048 Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov
Steve Knight Rep-36 (916) 319-2036 Assemblymember.Knight@assembly.ca.gov
Dan Logue Rep-3 (916) 319-2003 Assemblymember.Logue@assembly.ca.gov
Jose Solorio Dem-69 (916) 319-2069 Assemblymember.Solorio@assembly.ca.gov

April 11, 2010

Action Alert: CA Calls for Rabies & Licensing at 3 Months of Age


CALIFORNIA Rabies Bill AB 2689 introduced by Cameron Smyth (R-Santa Clarita), newly minted chair of the Local Government Committee, calls for rabies and licensing at 3 months of age.

It is URGENT that all concerned pet owners contact the Local Government Committee and tell them to reject this bill in its entirety. The committee phone is (916) 319-3958 and the members contact information is listed below.

As written, this amendment threatens the efficacy of California rabies control and prevention laws to build herd immunity in the California dog population.  As some advocates read it, it also resets the interval between rabies vaccinations to once a year in order to enforce compliance with licensing laws and raise tax revenues in local jurisdictions. Is this intentional or a poorly worded passage?

SEC. 2. Section 121690 is added to the Health and Safety Code , to read:

121690. In rabies areas, all of the following shall apply:

(a) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of three months, shall no less than once every two years secure a license for the dog as provided by ordinance of the responsible city, city and county, or county. License fees shall be fixed by the responsible city, city and county, or county, at an amount not to exceed limitations otherwise prescribed by state law or city, city and county, or county charter.

(b) Every dog owner, after his or her dog attains the age of three months, shall, at intervals of time not more often than once a year, as may be proscribed by the department, procure its vaccination by a licensed veterinarian with a canine antirabies vaccine approved by, and in a manner proscribed by, the department.

Existing law imposes various requirements upon dog owners in rabies areas designated by the State Public Health Officer. Among the requirements imposed under existing law is that a dog under 4 months of age must be confined or restrained, as proscribed, and that dogs 4 months of age or older must be licensed by the appropriate city, county, or city and county, and vaccinated for rabies, as specified.

This bill would, commencing January 1, 2012, change the age to which the constraint or confinement requirement applies to under 3 months of age, and the age to which the licensing requirements applies to 3 months of age or older. But the passage regarding vaccination requirements is less than straightforward.

Whether this is intentional regression to the dark days of annual rabies shots or poorly worded legislation, it just ain't right on many levels.

1. Vaccinating a dog or cat before its immune system has fully developed is bad timing.  A current study of age and duration of immunity for core puppy shots states that maternal antibodies can thwart the action of the vaccine if it is administered too early.

2. Exposing an immature immune system to rabies vaccine is bad medicine. Rabies vaccine is a powerful biologic agent that is implicated in a host of acute and chronic health conditions.

3. Mandating the purchase of bad medicine is bad law. Requiring pet owners to pay for medically unsound rabies vaccinations from which their animal derives no health benefit raises ethical and legal issues which may violate the state’s consumer protection laws.

While no animal's immune system develops like clockwork, maturation is generally between 16 weeks and a year. Rabies sooner rather than later is counterproductive to the interests of California public policy - to keep state and local rabies laws simple to understand and minimally punitive.

PERMISSION GRANTED TO POST AND CROSS-POST this notice, please help spread the word and take action to defeat this legislation.

Cameron Smyth - Chair Rep-38 (916) 319-2038 Assemblymember.Smyth@assembly.ca.gov
Anna M. Caballero - Vice Chair Dem-28 (916) 319-2028 Assemblymember.Caballero@assembly.ca.gov
Juan Arambula Ind-31 (916) 319-2031 Assemblymember.Arambula@assembly.ca.gov
Steven Bradford Dem-51 (916) 319-2051 Assemblymember.Bradford@assembly.ca.gov
Mike Davis Dem-48 (916) 319-2048 Assemblymember.Davis@assembly.ca.gov
Steve Knight Rep-36 (916) 319-2036 Assemblymember.Knight@assembly.ca.gov
Dan Logue Rep-3 (916) 319-2003 Assemblymember.Logue@assembly.ca.gov
Jose Solorio Dem-69 (916) 319-2069 Assemblymember.Solorio@assembly.ca.gov

April 10, 2010

New Study: Vax May Confer Lifelong Immunity in Dogs


Buying a new puppy? Easy does it on vaccinations. A new study of duration of immunity for core viral vaccines in dogs suggests that puppy shots may confer lifelong immunity when administered after 16 weeks.

Research veterinarians at the University of Wisconsin Veterinary School recently published findings of a study that examined the duration of immunity for core viral vaccines in dogs that had not been revaccinated for as long as 9 years.

These animals had serum antibody to canine distemper virus (CDV), canine parvovirus type 2 (CPV-2) and canine adenovirus type-1 (CAV-1) at levels considered protective. When challenged with these viruses, the dogs resisted infection and/or disease. Thus, even a single dose of  modified live virus canine core vaccines against distemper, parvvirus and adenovirus or modified live vurus feline core vaccines against feline parvovirus, when administered at 16 weeks or older, could provide long-term immunity in a very high percentage of animals, while also increasing herd immunity.

Before 16 weeks, maternal antibodies can thwart the effect of vaccination, resulting in inadequate protection against common canine and feline diseases.

Drs. R D Schultz, B Thiel, E Mukhtar, P Sharp, L J Larson, of the Department of Pathobiological Sciences, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Wisconsin-Madison, participated in the study and published these findings in the January 2010 edition of Comparative Pathology.