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Notice: NEW MEXICO Dog Owners

July 23 2010 at 8:40 AM
Kris Christine  (Login KrisChristine)

 
NEW MEXICO: Rabies Medical Exemption Action Alert -- New Mexico pet owners have launched an effort to get a rabies medical exemption clause inserted into the Rabies Code. Below is a copy of the letter I have faxed to the New Mexico State Veterinarian and below that is a copy of New Mexico resident Chryssa Charalambides's letter.

What You Can Do to Help

Contact your legislator and ask them to file a rabies medical exemption bill on your behalf. You can find your legislators' contact information at this linkhttp://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx , and please ask everyone you know who may concerned about this issue to do the same. E-mails for the entire New Mexico Legislature are listed at the bottom of this message.

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July 23, 2010

Dr. Dave E. Fly, State Veterinarian
New Mexico Livestock Board
300 San Mateo NE
Albuquerque, NM 87109

RE: Rabies Medical Exemption for New Mexico Code Title 7 Chapter 4 Part 2 §7.4.2.8

Greetings Dr. Fly:

New Mexicos Code requiring rabies vaccinations for dogs and cats, Title 7 Chapter 4 Part 2 §7.4.2.8, does not contain a provision to exempt unhealthy animals whose veterinarians have determined their medical conditions should 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 laws, and a bill is currently pending in the California legislature to include a waiver in its 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. Passage of a medical exemption clause would allow New Mexicos veterinarians to write waivers for animals -- such as those who have had anaphylactic reactions to vaccination, or suffer from cancer, kidney/liver failure, hemolytic anemia, thrombocytopenia, grand mal seizures, and chronic autoimmune disorders -- whose medical conditions would be exacerbated by rabies vaccination.

The State of Maine inserted the following medical exemption into their 3 year rabies protocol, 7 M.R.S.A., Sec. 3922(3), which became effective in April 2005:

5 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.

In the more than 5 years since Maines medical exemption went into effect, not one rabid dog has been reported in the state. Colorados data reflect the same -- there have been no rabid dogs reported in the state since passage of their medical exemption in July 2008.

Without a provision for medical exemptions in Title 7 Chapter 4 Part 2 §7.4.2.8, New Mexicos rabies immunization code thrusts an ethical quandary on veterinarians with seriously ill patients -- they must either violate their Veterinarians Oath and administer a rabies vaccine contrary to sound medical practice and against the vaccine manufacturers labeled instructions, or recommend their clients break the law by not immunizing their unhealthy pets against rabies. Being compelled by law to vaccinate sick dogs and cats against rabies in order for their clients to comply with the code also puts New Mexicos veterinarians at risk of being held liable for any adverse reactions the animals may suffer after administering a vaccine inconsistently with the labeled directions. Owners of critically ill dogs may choose not to comply with the law rather than jeopardize the lives of their pets and then fail to license their dogs to avoid detection.

On behalf of The Rabies Challenge Fund Charitable Trust and the New Mexico pet owners who have contacted us for assistance, we urge you to initiate legislation to insert a medical exemption clause in Title 7 Chapter 4 Part 2 §7.4.2.8 of the state code. You may contact me at the number below if you would like any scientific data on the rabies vaccine or if you have any questions.

Sincerely,

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

cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
New Mexico Legislature
Dr. Tamara Spooner Executive Director, New Mexico Veterinary Medical Association

New Mexico Legislatorshttp://www.nmlegis.gov/lcs/legislatorsearch.aspx
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Letter from Chryssa Charalambides

Mark Boitano Representative Gail Chasey
3615 Horacio Court NE 1206 Las Lomas Road NE
Albuquerque, NM 87111 Albuquerque, NM 87106

Dear Senator Boitano and Representative Chasey,
Legislation is needed to provide an exemption from rabies vaccination for pets with existing medical conditions.

My Great Dane, Dalia, has been diagnosed with two autoimmune conditions within the last year and half, vaccine induced Immune Mediated Polyarthritis, diagnosed on 01/11/2009, and Addisons disease, diagnosed on 11/04/2009. Her veterinarian, Dr. Jennifer Strasser, ACVIM of Veterinary Specialists of NM at the Albuquerque Emergency Clinic, feels strongly that further rabies vaccinations would pose serious risk to her health. I have a letter from Dr. Strasser to that effect.

Dog and cat owners in other states with animals suffering from similar autoimmune conditions can have their veterinarian fill out an annual exemption form. The form protects the animals life by legally exempting it from rabies vaccination upon the examination of a veterinarian.

The vaccine manufacturers as well as the USDA state the vaccines should be given only to healthy cats and dogs.

Those of us in New Mexico who own dogs or cats consider them an important member of our families. They are a treasured and extremely important part of our lives. No animal owner in NM should be forced by our state to risk their pets life if a veterinarian has determined that a vaccination would put it in jeopardy.

When I contacted the city of Albuquerque Animal Licensing Services, I was informed that medical exemption is possible in the state of New Mexico, if I submit a letter from my veterinarian stating why the pet cannot be vaccinated. Regardless, New Mexico rabies law does not include a medical exemption clause. Would you please introduce legislation on my behalf that would add a medical exemption clause into our existing state rabies law?

I would be more than happy to speak to you via telephone, email or meet with you in person. Your help in this cause is desperately needed. Thank you for your attention and efforts in advance.

Sincerely
Chryssa Charalambides


Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

 
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Kris Christine
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Re: Notice: NEW MEXICO Dog Owners

February 14 2011, 6:35 AM 

Las Cruces Sun-News 2/12/11http://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
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

 
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Kris Christine
(Login KrisChristine)

HB 341 Hearing Friday 2/25/11

February 17 2011, 5:33 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 Boardhttp://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 Committeehttp://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
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

 
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Kris Christine
(Login KrisChristine)

NEW MEXICO Waivers Hearing Friday 2/25/11

February 19 2011, 6:02 PM 

NEW MEXICO: HB 341 Rabies Waivers Bill--Hearing this Friday, 2/25/11 ACTION ALERThttp://www.nmlegis.gov/Sessions/11%20Regular/bills/house/HB0341.html Contact Rep. Dodge (505) 986-4255 georgedodge63@yahoo.com and Rep. Madalena jrmadalena@fsipinc.org (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 Rep. Dodge and Rep. 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



RE: 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 Controls 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 manufacturers labeled directions, which clearly specify their use in healthy animals. This explicit specification counters the New Mexico Livestock Boards (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 Mexicos rabies laws instead of being forced to jeopardize their pets 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 341s Fiscal Impact Report which need to be addressed. The NMLVB stated that the rabies vaccine is considered worldwide to be among the safestvaccines -- 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 Maines medical exemption for dogs went into effect, not one rabid dog has been reported in the state. Colorados 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 anarea of low rabies vaccine coverage in dogs and cats, however, the World Small Animal Veterinary Associations 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 thearea 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 animals 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.



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

www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

ledgespring@lincoln.midcoast.com



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.


Kris L. Christine
Founder, Co-Trustee
The Rabies Challenge Fund
www.RabiesChallengeFund.org

 
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