Monday, April 22, 2013

AB 272 letter to Assembly

California State Assembly
April 21, 2013

Re: CA AB 272: Rabies: vaccinations (Gomez) as amended April 19, 2013 :

Dear Assemblymember,

The California Federation of Dog Clubs, founded in 1990, represents
thousands of dog owners across our state. We are advocates for animal
welfare and for protecting the rights of responsible dog owners. The
CFoDC conducts breed identification workshops for shelter workers,
distributes a dog care and training brochure for new owners who adopt
from shelters, and provides a toll-free help line for pet owners who
are struggling with behavior or training problems. We also maintain and
administer a relief fund for animals affected by disasters such as
earthquakes or fires. CFoDC supports animal legislation that is
beneficial to society and to animal welfare. We sponsored 'Molly's
Law", which allowed for medical exemptions for rabies vaccination, in
the immediate past session.

The CFoDC is OPPOSED to CA AB 272. We formally requested to be listed
in official opposition to this bill back in March, but were never
included on the list of opponents. Now we are contacting each and every
assemblymember to urge your "NO" vote on this proposal.

This bill would lower the age for puppies to receive their required
rabies vaccination to three months old. Vaccination of puppies at an
early age flies in the face of science and is counter to the advice of
the medical community. Early-age vaccination is often ineffective due
to the interference of maternal antibodies. This would mean that a
large percentage of young dogs in the community would be presumed
immune to rabies after an ineffective early-age vaccination, when in
fact they are not immune and could acquire and transfer rabies to

It is false to claim that California is the only state setting the age
of four months for dog rabies vaccination. Only twelve out of fifty
states require rabies vaccination at age three months, and several
states have set that age as high as SIX months. California has only
seen three (3) cases of rabies in dogs in the past six years despite
1128 confirmed cases of rabies in bats and skunks in that same time
period. One of those cases was a dog who was recently imported into Los
Angeles from Mexico.

The current law requiring puppies to be vaccinated at 4 months of age
is and has been effective at controlling rabies in California's canine
population. There is no epidemiological or scientific rationale for
changing this law. Please reject AB 272.

Sincerely yours,

Geneva Coats, R.N.
Secretary, California Federation of Dog Clubs

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