California Soon to Allow Canine Rabies Vaccine Exemptions
Starting next year, dogs with medical problems that make vaccination unsafe will benefit from legal exemption from rabies vaccination in California. Here is a quote from a recent California Veterinary Medical Association (CVMA) communication.
Governor Signs AB 258: Waivers for Rabies Vaccinations
The governor has signed AB 258 by Assemblyman Curt Hagman, which exempts dogs from rabies vaccinations under certain circumstances and takes effect January 1, 2012. The CVMA has been one of the supporters of this bill, lobbying for it for two years until it became law. While the CVMA believes it is critical that animals be vaccinated for rabies, we also believe that in rare instances where an animal's health may be compromised as a result of the rabies vaccine â€” as determined by a veterinarian â€” exemptions should be allowed.
AB 258 allows dogs to be exempted from the state's rabies vaccine requirement when they could be harmed due to their health conditions. Currently, state rabies law does not provide for any exemptions for dogs. Under current law, local licensing agencies do not have the authority to exempt a dog from the state rabies vaccination requirement. AB 258 will give the local licensing agencies the authority to grant waivers upon receipt of an exemption form signed by both the veterinarian and the owner. In future communications, including the next issue of California Veterinarian magazine, the CVMA will provide details on how current Health and Safety codes relating to canine rabies vaccinations have been amended.