2008 - In a letter to the Kansas Director of Environmental Services, Kris Christine, Founder and Co-Trustee of the life-saving, veterinary sponsored Rabies Challenge Fund spells out a legal challenge for states which fail to recognize the progress made in vaccine protocol.
Mincing no words, Christine cautions Director Kay Johnson, “It is unconscionable, unprofessional, and reckless for you, as the Director of Environmental Services, to rigidly adhere to a medically unsound annual rabies immunization protocol based on your desire to address a non-compliance issue among irresponsible dog owners.
“In effect, your policy punishes law-abiding citizens by requiring them to pay for medically unnecessary annual boosters. The rabies vaccine is the most potent of the veterinary vaccines and associated with significant adverse reactions -- it should not be given more often than is necessary to maintain immunity.
Adverse reactions such as autoimmune diseases affecting the thyroid, joints, blood, eyes, skin, kidney, liver, bowel and central nervous system; anaphylactic shock; aggression; seizures; epilepsy; and fibro sarcomas at injection sites are linked to rabies vaccinations.”
Christine cites The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians’ 2007 Compendium of Animal Rabies Prevention and Control “No laboratory or epidemiologic data exist to support the annual or biennial administration of 3- or 4-year vaccines following the initial series.”
The letter continues “It is my personal opinion that you have set a rabies immunization policy which violates consumer protection laws by requiring pet owners (pet owners are consumers of veterinary services) to pay for annual rabies boosters which their dogs derive no benefit from, and which have the potential to cause harm.”
She quotes “Article 8 “Unprofessional Conduct” of the Kansas Administrative Regulations” which describes unprofessional conduct as administering drugs “when the drugs are not necessary or required for the medical care of animals..” pointing out (your) “annual rabies vaccination policy forces veterinarians into the uncomfortable position of violating their professional code of conduct by obliging them to over vaccinate dogs against rabies in order for their owners to comply with the law.”
For our readers as well as the Kansas Director, Christine refers to the 2003 American Animal Hospital Association’s Canine Vaccine Guidelines which states “Do Not Vaccinate Needlessly – Don’t revaccinate more often than is needed….” They also caution: “Do Not Assume that Vaccines Cannot Harm a Patient – Vaccines are potent medically active agents and have the very real potential of producing adverse events.””
Quoting the American Veterinary Medical Association's 2001 Principles of Vaccination, she explains ‘“Unnecessary stimulation of the immune system does not result in enhanced disease resistance, and may increase the risk of adverse post-vaccination events.’” and ‘“Possible adverse events include failure to immunize, anaphylaxis, immunosuppression, autoimmune disorders, transient infections, and/or long-term infected carrier states.”’
Christine closes her letter with “I strongly urge you to immediately revise Wichita’s misguided annual rabies immunization policy and adopt the national triennial standard.”
Readers have reported difficulties with vets who place profit above risk to the animals, and outdated training class and boarding kennel requirements.
There are even some kennel clubs that still list a “current rabies certificate” as an entry requirement.
Shipping an adult without subjecting it to unnecessary re-vaccination can also be impossible although the same pet can travel in the cabin without required presentation of a rabies certificate.
Research www.RabiesChallengeFund.org or for a broad view of all vaccinations (and other health care issues go to Vaccine Index
For specific articles relating to Rabies:
Update On Rabies Vaccine Fund
Rabies Challenge Fund - MAY 2007 Update
Fort Dodge Recalls Rabies Vaccine
Corporate Watch - Animal Suffering & Pfizer
Anyone wishing to have a copy of either the 1992 French challenge study data from a research team led by Michel Aubert in which dogs were demonstrated to be immune to a rabies challenge 5 years after vaccination, or Vascellari's study which documented cancerous tumors in dogs at presumed injection sites of rabies vaccine, please e-mail me. Kris Christine