PENNSYLVANIA Rabies Medical Exemption Bill SB 155 (January 2013)
has been introduced for a 3rd
time by Senator Greenleaf & has been referred to the Senate Agriculture Committee (link to Senator Greenleaf's memo reintroducing this bill http://www.legis.state.pa.us/cfdocs/...&cosponId=9832
What You Can Do to Help
Please contact members below asking them to vote to pass this bill, SB 155,
for dogs and cats determined by a veterinarian to be too ill to be vaccinated.
PERMISSION GRANTED TO CROSS-POST
Members of the Pennsylvania Senate Agriculture Committee
Senator Elder Vogel, Chair (717) 787-3076 [email protected]
Senator Michael Waugh, Vice-Chair (717) 787-3817 [email protected]
Senator Judith L. Schwank, Minority Chair (717) 787-8925 [email protected]
Senator David G. Argall (717) 787-2637 [email protected]
Senator Joseph Scarnati (717) 787-7084 [email protected]
Senator Mike Brubaker (717) 787-4420 [email protected]
Senator Robert Robbins (717) 787-1322 [email protected]
Senator Gene Yaw (717) 787-3280 [email protected]
Senator Andrew Dinniman (717) 787-5709 [email protected]
Senator Shirley Kitchen (717) 787-6735 [email protected]
Senator Timothy Solobay (717) 787-1463 [email protected]
The Rabies Challenge Fund Letter to Pennsylvania State Veterinarian
June 29, 2010
Dr. Craig E. Shultz
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.
Kris L. Christine
THE RABIES CHALLENGE FUND
cc: Dr. W. Jean Dodds
Dr. Ronald Schultz
Pennsylvania General Assembly