Saturday, December 18, 2010

PENNSYLVANIA: Rabies Medical Exemption Action Alert! Please contact your legislators now and ask them to support this bill!

PENNSYLVANIA: Rabies Medical Exemption Action Alert -- Senator Stewart J. Greenleaf will reintroduce SB 1454 in an effort to get a rabies medical exemption clause inserted into the Pennsylvania Rabies Code in the January session. Below is a copy of The Rabies Challenge Fund's letter faxed to the Pennsylvania State Veterinarian.

http://www.legis.state.pa.us/CFDOCS/Legis/PN/Public/btCheck.cfm?txtType=HTM&sessYr=2009&sessInd=0&billBody=S&billTyp=B&billNbr=1454&pn=2164


What You Can Do to Help:

Contact your legislators immediately and ask them to co-sponsor and support this rabies medical exemption bill. You can find your legislators' contact information at this link http://www.legis.state.pa.us/ , and please ask every pet owner you know who may concerned about this to do the same. If no other legislator is willing to Co-Sponsor this bill, it will fail. E-mails for the entire Pennsylvania Assembly are listed at the bottom of this message.


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June 29, 2010


Dr. Craig E. Shultz
State Veterinarian
Department of Agriculture
2301 N. Cameron Street, Room 410
Harrisburg, PA 17110


RE: Medical Exemption Clause for Pennsylvania’s Rabies Prevention and Control Code


Greetings Dr. Shultz:


On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund and the Pennsylvania pet owners who have contacted us requesting assistance, we respectfully request that you, in your capacity as State Veterinarian, initiate medical exemption legislation waiving the rabies immunization requirement in Chapter 16, Subchapter C., §16.43 of the Pennsylvania Code for the small number of animals whose veterinarians have determined their medical conditions preclude vaccination.

The states of Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin all have medical exemption clauses for sick animals in their rabies immunization laws, and a bill is currently pending in the California legislature to include a waiver in their statutes.

The labels on rabies vaccines state that they are for “the vaccination of healthy cats, dogs…,” and there are medical conditions for which vaccination can jeopardize the life or well-being of an animal. A medical exemption clause would allow Pennsylvania veterinarians to write waivers for animals whose medical conditions (such as those with cancer, kidney/liver failure, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, grand mal seizures, and chronic autoimmune disorders) would be exacerbated by rabies vaccination. The State of Maine inserted such an exemption into their 3 year rabies protocol, 7 M.R.S.A., Sec. 3922(3), which became effective in April 2005 -- not one rabid dog has been reported in the more than 5 years since that date. Colorado’s data reflect the same -- there have been no rabid dogs reported in the state since passage of their medical exemption clause in July 2008.

Maine’s exemption language is as follows:

A. A letter of exemption from vaccination may be submitted for licensure, if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of the dog. Qualifying letters must be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the dog, and the medical reason that precludes vaccination. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter shall indicate a time of expiration of the exemption.

B. A dog exempted under the provisions of paragraph 5 A, above, shall be considered unvaccinated, for the purposes of 10-144 C.M.R. Ch.251, Section 7(B)(1), (Rules Governing Rabies Management) in the case of said dog’s exposure to a confirmed or suspect rabid animal.

The Rabies Challenge Fund strongly urges you to request legislation be submitted on behalf of the Department of Agriculture amending Chapter 16, Subchapter C., §16.43 of the Pennsylvania Code to include medical exemption language for unhealthy animals for which rabies vaccination would compromise their well-being.


Sincerely,

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org
ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com

2 comments:

ingrid said...

As always, - thanks for the info. I had no idea of any of this.

Milton said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Susan

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