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


Anonymous said...

They are knocking on doors to check too! We are residents of Santa Clarita and after coming home to a pink slip on my door with a few penalty fees and a "Field Enforcement" fee (to come place the note on my door that they will be by for money tomorrow)... This is the LA COUNTY CANVASSING DEPARTMENT FOR ANIMAL CONTROL!

Pet Lovers need to band together and stop our loved ones from mandatory poisoning!

Anonymous said...

They can leave slips all they want. They'll have to come between me and my 12 gauge to get to my dogs.

You DO NOT have to pay them at the door, nor do you need to pay them. Stand up for your rights people.

Anonymous said...

My dog suffered and still suffering from a severe skin allergy after the vaccination. She was bleeding from her pores! I nearly lost her and all the vets I went to gave up on her. It took me 2 years to detox her to be around 80% better. She is still working on full recovery. No dogs deserve to go through this!