June 25, 2011

TX Action Alert: Killeen City Council Considers 3-Year Rabies Law

Killeen and Bell County, Texas dog and cat lovers are urged to weigh in with members of the Killeen City Council, which will hold a workshop July 5 to discuss adopting a 3 year rabies ordinance for the city. The vote on the matter is scheduled for July 12.

Dr. Laura Szeremi, a respected Killeen veterinarian who supported the initiative to extend the interval between rabies inoculations to conform to national, state guidelines in Bell County says that several local veterinarians have already voiced strong opposition to the change.

Herd immunity is the primary concern of public health officials - the more dogs and cats that are vaccinated against rabies, the less likely that contact with rabid wildlife will result in a spread of the virus to humans. Raccoons, skunks and bats are the primary repositories for rabies virus in the wild. Canine rabies has been eradicated in the USA for several years. There is no cat variant.

Dr. Bob Rogers, who was instrumental in getting the rabies protocol extended statewide in 2003, astutely points out, tighter rabies control does not result in a greater percentage of dogs and cats being vaccinated. According to Texas Health & Human Services, Department of Zoonosis, only 50 percent of dogs and cats in Texas get rabes shots; but it's the same dogs and cats. And this, says Dr. Laura Szeremi, has dire and often deadly consequences.
How to Help:

Contact the City Council members to vote in favor:

Scott Cosper scosper@ci.killeen.tx.us (254) 526-2167
Larry Cole lcole@ci.killeen.tx.us (254) 289-7012
Billy Workman bworkman@ci.killeen.tx.us (254) 338-8337
Kenny Wells kwells@ci.killeen.tx.us (254) 681-4977
Juan Rivera jrivera@ci.killeen.tx.us (254) 338-4304
Terry Clark tclark@ci.killeen.tx.us (254) 466-9082

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