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Kris L. Christine
January 26th 11, 02:41 PM
NEW MEXICO--Rabies Medical Exemptions, Urgent Action Alert: In order to get a rabies medical exemption bill filed this session, legislators must hear from the public in force.

What You Can Do to Help

Please find your legislators' contact information here http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx and ask them to file a rabies medical exemption bill on your behalf and ask all the pet owners in New Mexico you know to do the same. Despite the survey results showing that the majority (55%) of New Mexico's veterinarians do NOT OPPOSE rabies waivers, the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association's Board voted to oppose any such legislation that may be filed (see letter below from The Rabies Challenge Fund). If your pet suffers from lymphoma, auto-immune hemolytic anemia, metasticized cancer, grand-mal seizures or is undergoing chemotherapy, they are required under the law to have a rabies booster despite their medical condition, and the NMVMA's Board voted to maintain the status quo refusing such critically ill animals waivers. You may want to call your veterinarian's office to find out if they voted for or against rabies waivers.

If you wish to express your concern to the Executive Director of the NMVMA and ask the Board to reverse its decision to oppose rabies exemption legislation, contact Tamara Spooner at (505) 867-6373 . You can also contact the two New Mexico State veterinarians and tell them to support rabies exemption legislation. Their contact information is Dr. Paul Ettestad (505) 827-0006 and Dr. Dave Fly (505) 841-6163.

The time to act on your pet's behalf is now.

PERMISSION IS GRANTED TO POST THIS ACTION ALERT

January 25, 2011

Dr. Dave E. Fly, State Veterinarian Dr. Paul Ettestad, State Public Health Veterinarian
New Mexico Livestock Board New Mexico Department of Health
300 San Mateo NE P.O. Box 26110
Albuquerque, NM 87109 Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110

RE: Rabies Medical Waivers Survey of New Mexico Veterinarians

Greetings Drs. Fly and Ettestad:

After reviewing the results of the statewide rabies vaccine waivers survey, designed in conjunction with the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association (NMVMA), which was sent to New Mexico veterinarians, The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust would like to address, clarify, and elaborate on several points in the report.

The survey highlights on the first page that 45% of the respondents were against, 37% were in favor, and 18% undecided on the issue of rabies vaccine waivers, demonstrating that the majority (55%) of New Mexico’s veterinarians are not opposed to rabies waivers. In light of the 55% majority of New Mexico’s veterinarians who are not opposed to rabies waivers for sick animals, it was surprising to hear from NMVMA’s Executive Director, Tamara Spooner, that the Board voted to oppose any proposed medical exemption legislation.

Between 1984 and 2010, your survey cites 6 dogs and 10 cats being diagnosed with rabies in New Mexico; however, the report failed to mention that during that same period, 147 bats, 92 skunks, and 37 fox were also confirmed rabid in the state. This is important in light of the fact that the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) data documents bats as the primary vector for human rabies transmission in the United States, not dogs or cats.

Your survey states that “Worldwide, dogs are the source of 99% of human rabies deaths.” This is absolutely not the case in the United States. According to the CDC’s Cases of Rabies in Human Beings in the United States, by Circumstances of Exposure and Rabies Virus Variant, 1995-2009, of the 46 human cases of rabies reported from 1995 through 2009, not one was transmitted by a dog or cat in the United States and not one of those cases was in New Mexico. Out of those human cases, rabies was transmitted by 34 bats, 1 fox, 1 raccoon, and 1 mongoose --- the others were contracted outside U.S. borders.

The World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s 2010 Vaccine Guidelines estimates that in “developed” nations such as the U.S., 50-70% of the pet animal population is unvaccinated. This large estimated percentage of non-compliance with rabies vaccination requirements compromises the concept of herd immunity existing in New Mexico. Concern was noted in the survey that legalizing rabies vaccine waivers may result in “decreasing herd immunity.” According to Dr. Ronald Schultz of the University of Wisconsin’s School of Veterinary Medicine, a member of the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s Task Force and the American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Guidelines Task Force, herd immunity is achieved when 75% or more of an animal population is vaccinated. Given the small percentage of animals that would qualify for exemptions, it is highly unlikely that they would pose a real threat to the current level of herd immunity in New Mexico.

“[M]any veterinarians had concerns about animals with certain medical conditions receiving vaccine…” according to your survey, and the following conditions were specified: anaphylactic reaction, lymphoma, neoplasia, immune-mediated disease, immunosuppression, age, neurologic conditions, and pets undergoing chemotherapy. These animals may not respond to rabies vaccination as required by law (noted in the report, these pets “might lack the ability to develop an appropriate immune response”), and their health may be jeopardized if they are not allowed waivers. The Postmarketing Surveillance of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy published in The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association April 1, 2008 issue Vol. 232, No. 7, claims that "[r]abies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the CVB [Center for Veterinary Biologics]."

Rabies vaccine labels state that they are for healthy animals, and some elaborate further that: “[a] protective immune response may not be elicited if animals are incubating an infectious disease are malnourished or parasitized are stressed due to shipment or environmental conditions are otherwise immunocompromised.” Veterinarians immunizing unhealthy pets, as New Mexico’s rabies code requires, are forced to do so contrary to vaccine manufacturers’ labeled instructions, against the recommendations of the CDC’s National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ (of which Dr. Ettestad is a member) Rabies Compendium, counter to sound veterinary medical practice, and possibly in violation of the veterinary oath.

It is clear from your survey results that the veterinarians polled would not abuse the right to exempt sick animals, and the 13 states that currently do have medical exemptions have found no grounds to repeal them. The rabies endemic State of Maine included a medical exemption clause in their canine rabies regulations in April 2005. The Maine State Veterinarian, Dr. Donald Hoenig (207) 287-7615, confirmed today that no rabid dogs have been reported in the nearly 6 years since the clause went into effect.

As in our July 23, 2010 letter, The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust respectfully requests that your departments submit legislation to include a medical exemption clause in New Mexico’s current rabies code, Title 7 Chapter 4 Part 2, and that you consider medical exemption language such as that contained in Florida’s statutes, Title XLVI Chapter 828 as follows:

“A dog, cat, or ferret is exempt from vaccination against rabies if a licensed veterinarian has examined the animal and has certified in writing that at the time vaccination would endanger the animal's health because of its age, infirmity, disability, illness, or other medical considerations. An exempt animal must be vaccinated against rabies as soon as its health permits.”

Please contact me at the number or e-mail below if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org


cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Representative Gail Chasey
Senator Steve Fischmann
New Mexico Legislature

Tamara Spooner – Executive Director, New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association )

Kris L. Christine
February 14th 11, 02:31 PM
Las Cruces Sun-News 2/12/11 http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_17374067 On the Positive Side: Clairification of Rabies Vaccination Sought

"There is serious concern that vaccination of a dog and cat with medical conditions may jeopardize the life and well being of the cat or dog. There is also a possibility that the vaccine may fail to elicit the appropriate immune response in an unhealthy animal, and that appropriate immune response is necessary for pubic safety.

For these reasons, pet owners across the state are seeking official clarification to the regulation so that exemption waivers can be provided by licensed veterinarians for ill dogs and cats until such time as they can be declared healthy enough to be vaccinated. "

Bill Graham
February 15th 11, 03:40 AM
"Kris L. Christine" > wrote in
message ...
>
> -Las Cruces Sun-News- 2/12/11
> http://www.lcsun-news.com/las_cruces-news/ci_17374067 *On the Positive
> Side: Clairification of Rabies Vaccination Sought *
>
> "There is serious concern that vaccination of a dog and cat with medical
> conditions may jeopardize the life and well being of the cat or dog.
> There is also a possibility that the vaccine may fail to elicit the
> appropriate immune response in an unhealthy animal, and that appropriate
> immune response is necessary for pubic safety.
>
> For these reasons, pet owners across the state are seeking official
> clarification to the regulation so that exemption waivers can be
> provided by licensed veterinarians for ill dogs and cats until such time
> as they can be declared healthy enough to be vaccinated. "
>
>
>
>
> --
> Kris L. Christine

Around here, there are many who don't license their dogs, much less their
cats, so I would say that the laws you are talking about are basically
unenforceable. And, from a practical standpoint, as a libertarian, I think I
would like my government to be doing something else other than sniffing
around for cats and dogs anyway.

Kris L. Christine
February 15th 11, 01:14 PM
Around here, there are many who don't license their dogs, much less their
cats, so I would say that the laws you are talking about are basically
unenforceable. And, from a practical standpoint, as a libertarian, I think I
would like my government to be doing something else other than sniffing
around for cats and dogs anyway.

The problem is that for dogs and cats who are sick, they are forced to be vaccinated against rabies even if it will negatively impact their health. This bill will not result in more government intervention, it will simply exempt sick dogs and cats from the rabies vaccination requirement that already exists in the law.

Kris L. Christine
February 15th 11, 05:39 PM
NEW MEXICO: Rabies Waiver Petition -- please sign and cross-post! http://www.change.org/petitions/new-mexico-take-action-to-help-pets-too-sick-to-receive-rabies-vaccines?share_id=KBUouGvFmk&pe=pce

Bill Graham
February 15th 11, 11:22 PM
Kris L. Christine wrote:
> Bill Graham;760594 Wrote:
>> Around here, there are many who don't license their dogs, much less
>> their
>> cats, so I would say that the laws you are talking about are
>> basically unenforceable. And, from a practical standpoint, as a
>> libertarian, I think I
>> would like my government to be doing something else other than
>> sniffing
>>
>> around for cats and dogs anyway.
>
> The problem is that for dogs and cats who are sick, they are forced to
> be vaccinated against rabies even if it will negatively impact their
> health. This bill will not result in more government intervention, it
> will simply exempt sick dogs and cats from the rabies vaccination
> requirement that already exists in the law.

I'd go for that. I would even like my government to capture and vaccinate
wild animals, and then release them back into the wild. It might be possible
to eliminate diseases like rabies altogether.

A long time ago, there was an article in Scientific American about curing
rats instead of killing them. The aurther argued that killing them has
obviously not worked, since we have been doing it for mqny years now without
significant results. He argued that we should be working the other way. Cure
their diseases with medicated foods and selective breeding to make them
healthy enough to live among us safely.

Kris L. Christine
February 17th 11, 03:39 AM
NEW MEXICO Rabies Medical Exemption Bill HB 341 has been filed by Representative George Dodge http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/11%20Regular/bills/house/HB0341.html and will be heard by the Agriculture & Water Resources Committee this Friday, February 18th. It is urgent that all concerned New Mexico pet owners immediately contact the Committee as the rabies medical exemption bill is being opposed by the New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association.

What You Can Do to Help

Contact the Chair and other members of the Committee (members and contact information below) and ask that the committee vote HB 341 OUGHT TO PASS. Please post this action alert and ask others to share and post it as well.

Representative James Roger Madalena, Chair (505) 986-4417
Representative Ray Begaye, Vice-Chair (505) 986-4435
Representative Cathrynn N. Brown (505) 986-4211
Representative Joseph Cervantes (505) 986-4234
Representative Zachary J. Cook (505) 986-4454
Representative Joni Marie Gutierrez (505) 986-4436
Representative Dona G. Irwin (505) 986-4234
Representative Larry A. Larrañaga (505) 986-4215
Representative Terry H. McMillan (505) 986-4220
Representative Don L. Tripp (505) 986-4220

PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST
HB 341

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:

SECTION 1. A new section of Chapter 77, Article 1 NMSA 1978 is enacted to read:

"[NEW MATERIAL] EXEMPTION FROM THE REQUIREMENT FOR RABIES VACCINATION.--

A. An animal that would otherwise be required to be vaccinated against rabies pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 77, Article 1 or 1A NMSA 1978 may be exempted from such requirement if that animal is the subject of a letter of exemption as provided in Subsection B of this section.

B. A letter of exemption from the requirement for rabies vaccination may be issued if a medical reason exists that precludes the vaccination of an animal. A letter of exemption shall be in the form of a written statement, signed by a licensed veterinarian, that includes a description of the animal and the medical reason that precludes vaccination against rabies. If the medical reason is temporary, the letter of exemption shall indicate a time of expiration of exemption."

Kris L. Christine
February 17th 11, 11:51 PM
The hearing on HB 341 has been postponed until Friday, February 25th, so there is still time to register your support for a rabies medical exemption for New Mexico's dogs and cats who have been diagnosed by a veterinarian as being too ill to be vaccinated.

The New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association Board http://www.nmvma.org/ABOUT_board.html is lobbying against this medical exemption bill despite the fact that a minority of their members oppose medical exemptions, so it is crucial that the Agriculture Committee http://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/committeedisplay.aspx?CommitteeCode=HAGC has overwhelming public support for HB 341 in order to pass it (committee member contact information can be found at link or in my previous post).

The following vets comprise the NMVMA Board: Linda Locklar, T. “Murt” Byrne, Manuel Garcia, Kathy Dobesh, Charles Lange, Craig Walker, Emily Walker, Rick Miller, Bonnie Snyder, Heidi Hamlen, Terry Jantzen, Don Dykhouse. If your vet is a board member, call & ask them to support the rabies medical exemption bill.

Kris L. Christine
February 20th 11, 02:57 AM
NEW MEXICO: HB 341 Rabies Waivers Bill--Hearing this Friday, 2/25/11 ACTION ALERT http://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/11%20Regular/bills/house/HB0341.html Contact Representative Dodge (505) 986-4255 and Representative Madalena (505) 986-4417 in support of bill ATTEND HEARING if you can.

This is your chance to get a rabies medical exemption bill passed in New Mexico! I urge all New Mexico residents to contact the two Representatives above to voice support for HB 341. If you can, please attend Friday's hearing. This bill faces stiff opposition from the Department of Health, the NM Veterinary Medical Association, and the NM Livestock Board -- it is up to the public to get this bill passed, and it will if you take a couple of minutes to call or e-mail Representative Dodge and Representative Madalena. Please ask your friends in New Mexico to do the same.

Below is a copy of my letter on behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund in support of HB 341.

PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST

February 18, 2011

Representative George Dodge, Jr. Representative James Roger Madalena, Chair
House of Representatives Agriculture & Water Resources Committee
Room 203 CAN, State Capitol Room 314 A, State Capitol
Santa Fe, NM 87501 Santa Fe, NM 87501

HB 341 Exemption from the Requirement for Rabies Vaccination

Greetings Representatives Dodge and Madalena:

The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust fully supports the rabies medical exemption language contained in HB 341 and strongly urges the Agriculture & Water Resources Committee to vote that this important legislation “ought to pass.”

The Centers for Disease Control’s National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians[1], the American Animal Hospital Association[2] (AAHA), the American Veterinary Medical Association[3], and the American Association of Feline Practitioners[4] all recommend that rabies vaccines be administered in accordance with the manufacturer’s labeled directions, which clearly specify their use in “healthy” animals. This explicit specification counters the New Mexico Livestock Board’s (NMLB) contention, expressed in the Fiscal Impact Report, that there are no known contraindications for the rabies vaccine – rather, the vaccine manufacturers’ labels specifically instruct veterinarians to limit their products’ use to the healthy population of the animal species. Furthermore, the Pfizer Defensor 3 rabies label warns that “[a] protective immune response may not be elicited if animals are incubating an infectious disease, are malnourished or parasitized, are stressed due to shipment or environmental conditions, are otherwise immunocompromised.”

In concurrence with rabies vaccine manufacturers’ precisely labeled directions that they are for “healthy” animals, the American Association of Feline Practitioners advises that “[c]ats with acute illness, debilitation, or high fevers should not be vaccinated.”[5] A Certificate of Exemption from Rabies Vaccination in Appendix 1 of their Vaccine Advisory Panel Report is published for veterinarians to use as a model for exempting sick animals.

Passage of this bill would give veterinarians the option, not the mandate, to write waivers for the small number of sick pets diagnosed as being too ill to be vaccinated and for whom vaccination may not elicit a proper immune response. It would also enable responsible pet owners with ill animals to comply with New Mexico’s rabies laws instead of being forced to jeopardize their pet’s health with a mandated vaccination or to break the law to avoid a medically unsound immunization.

Several concerns have been raised in the Significant Issues section of HB 341’s Fiscal Impact Report which need to be addressed. The NMLVB stated that the rabies vaccine “is considered worldwide to be among the safest…vaccines” -- this statement is false. A special report published in 2008 in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association announced that the "[r]abies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the CVB [Center for Veterinary Biologics]." [6] Immunologically, the rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions such as polyneuropathy “resulting in muscular atrophy, inhibition or interruption of neuronal control of tissue and organ function, incoordination, and weakness,” [7] auto-immune hemolytic anemia,[8] autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibrosarcomas at injection sites.[9] [10]

A “killed” vaccine, the rabies vaccine contains adjuvants to enhance the immunological response. In 1999, the World Health Organization “classified veterinary vaccine adjuvants as Class III/IV carcinogens with Class IV being the highest risk,"[11] and the results of a study published in the August 2003 Journal of Veterinary Medicine documenting fibrosarcomas at the presumed injection sites of rabies vaccines stated, “In both dogs and cats, the development of necrotizing panniculitis at sites of rabies vaccine administration was first observed by Hendrick & Dunagan (1992).” [12] According to the 2003 AAHA Guidelines, "...killed vaccines are much more likely to cause hypersensitivity reactions (e.g., immune-mediated disease)."[13]

The NMLVB stated that “this bill could result in a large number of exemption requests” that could weaken the current level of rabies control. In the 13 states with rabies medical exemptions (Alabama, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin), this has not been the case. In the more than 5 years since Maine’s medical exemption for dogs went into effect, not one rabid dog has been reported in the state. Colorado’s data reflect the same – there have been no rabid dogs reported since passage of their medical exemption in July 2008.

The Department of Health (DOH) expressed concern that passage of this bill would create an“area of low rabies vaccine coverage in dogs and cats,” however, the World Small Animal Veterinary Association’s 2010 Vaccine Guidelines estimates that in “developed” nations such as the U.S., 50%-70% of the pet animal population is unvaccinated. This large estimated percentage of domestic animals in non-compliance with rabies vaccination requirements is what creates the“area of low rabies vaccine coverage in dogs and cats,” not the minimal number of sick pets whose medical conditions should exempt them from the requirement.

Potential overuse or misuse of exemptions was also raised by the DOH, yet passage of this bill would give veterinarians the option, not the mandate, to issue waivers based on their assessment of an animal’s medical condition.

The Results of the Statewide Survey of New Mexico Veterinarians on rabies waivers conducted by the state indicated that a 55% majority of veterinarians were not opposed to medical exemptions.

(CONTINUED)

Kris L. Christine
February 20th 11, 02:58 AM
(CONTINUED)

In addition to HB 341, medical exemption bills are currently pending in the states of California and Pennsylvania.

On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust, I again express our full support of HB 341 and urge the Agriculture & Resources Committee to vote that it “ought to pass.”

Sincerely,

Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
http://www.RabiesChallengeFund.org


cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Representative James Roger Madalena
Senator Steve Fischmann
Representative Richard C. Martinez
Representative Gail Chasey
New Mexico Legislature
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------

[1] CDC's National Association of State Public Health Veterinarian's 2008 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control

[2] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, and ibid. 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Revised,

[3] American Veterinary Medical Association 2007 RABIES VACCINATION PROCEDURES

[4] American Association of Feline Practitioners, Vaccine Advisory Panel Report, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association Vol. 229, No. 9 Nov. 1, 2006

[5] American Association of Feline Practitioners, Vaccine Advisory Panel Report, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association Vol. 229, No. 9 Nov. 1, 2006 p. 1412

[6] Frana, T.S. et als, Postmarketing Surveillance of Rabies Vaccines for Dogs to Evaluate Safety and Efficacy, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association Vol. 232, No. 7 April 1, 2008

[7] Dodds, W. Jean Vaccination Protocols for Dogs Predisposed to Vaccine Reactions, The Journal of the American Animal Hospital Association, May/June 2001, Vol. 37, pp. 211-214

[8] Duval D., Giger U.Vaccine-Associated Immune-Mediated Hemolytic Anemia in the Dog, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 1996; 10:290-295

[9] American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) Executive Board, April 2001, Principles of Vaccination, Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, Volume 219, No. 5, September 1, 2001.

[10] Vascelleri, M. Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas; Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A August 2003, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 286-291.

[11] IARC Monographs on the Evaluation of Carcinogenic Risks to Humans: Volume 74, World Health Organization, International Agency for Research on Cancer, Feb. 23-Mar. 2, 1999, p. 24, 305, 310.

[12] Vascelleri, M. Fibrosarcomas at Presumed Sites of Injection in Dogs: Characteristics and Comparison with Non-vaccination Site Fibrosarcomas and Feline Post-vaccinal Fibrosarcomas; Journal of Veterinary Medicine, Series A August 2003, vol. 50, no. 6, pp. 286-291.

[13] American Animal Hospital Association Canine Vaccine Task Force. 2003 Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Recommendations, and Supporting Literature, 28pp. and ibid. 2006 AAHA Canine Vaccine Guidelines, Revised, 28 pp.