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February 02, 2012
AVMA Proposes Rabies Waiver as Standard of Care
According to news from The Rabies Challenge Fund, the American Veterinary Medicine Association has recommended a policy to make waiver from rabies vaccine for health reasons its standard of care for the model practice :
The second resolution adopted by HOD [House of Delegates] Jan. 7 amends AVMA’s Policy on Annual Rabies Vaccination Waiver. The AVMA Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine proposed the policy and an accompanying waiver to provide an exemption from rabies vaccination in the rare event an animal experiences a contraindication to the vaccine. The council fully supports rabies vaccinations for all dogs, cats and ferrets per the recommendation from the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, says AVMA.
According to the new policy, "All rabies vaccination waivers should be reconsidered at least yearly and, if appropriate, may be renewed on an annual basis following a reassessment of the animal's condition."
HOD reference Committee No. 7 amended the proposal to state that some animals may require a waiver from rabies vaccination due to health risks or research purposes, and that amended version was adopted by the House of Delegates. The resolution was also recommended for approval by the House Advisory Committee and the Executive Board.
Slowly, glacially, surely, the drift moves in the direction of rabies medical exemption nationwide.
Now if only the National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians, who write the "Bible" on rabies control and prevention, would get on board. Their guidelines are generally adopted by state public health veterinarians in order to standardize regulations that work. These "trickle down" to local levels.
In past years, NASPHV have gone so far as to say that administering repeat rabies vaccination is not a medical necessity. To my knowledge, they have not yet put their weight behind a rabies medical exemption for sick and senior dogs and cats.
You can find the 2011 Rabies Compendium online.