March 2013



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re Assembly Bill AB 272

seeking to reduce the age for rabies vaccination

from 4 months to 3

Read more about the Rabies Vaccine and its Side Effects

US rabies laws



Visit our new not-for-profit website with videos, studies and articles on vaccination:



Rabies Vaccination: 13 Ways to Vaccinate More Safely

Why the Rabies Challenge Fund and the AHVMA oppose AB 272



The American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association and internationally-renowned rabies vaccine expert Dr. W. Jean Dodds (a CA veterinarian) oppose new language "allowing" rabies vaccination "at three months or older.” This bill will not accomplish the author's intention of providing the public more protection against rabies and will endanger puppy health. 

Fewer puppies, not more, will be effectively immunized if rabies vaccination is allowed at 3 months. Many young pups will still have protective residual maternal rabies immunity protecting them in the highly unlikely event of exposure to a rabid wild animal. The rabies vaccine could also be partially neutralized by the maternal immunity and interference with other vaccines commonly given at 3 months - such that the puppy would be incompletely immunized. 


If vaccination is “allowed” at 3 months of age, most veterinarians will vaccinate at 3 months if it is more convenient. Most pet owners will not know they have the option of waiting until four months and that waiting would be safer. Nothing in the bill says the veterinarian has to tell them.


AB 272 can protect the health of California puppies while also protecting any out-of-state puppies vaccinated at 3 months from additional vaccination at 4 months. Dr. Dodds and The Rabies Challenge Fund have suggested adding an exemption to the current four month vaccination requirement allowing: "dogs previously vaccinated at the age of three months in another state or country with a rabies vaccine licensed by the USDA."     


A Purdue University vet school study of adverse vaccine reactions in 1.5 million dogs (published in the American Veterinary Medical Association Journal) demonstrated a significant increase in adverse vaccine reactions when multiple vaccines were given in one visit especially for, but not limited to, small- and medium-sized dogs. Adding the rabies vaccine would increase the risk of an adverse reaction by as much as 24%.

Rabies vaccines are the most common group of biological products identified in adverse event reports received by the USDA’s Center for Veterinary Biologics (CVB). 5.5% of reported reactions are "death." Other serious reactions include circulatory shock-8.3%; thrombocytopenia-2.3% and lack of consciousness-5.5%.  This vaccine is also associated with autoimmune diseases.  

The current law is working. There have been no cases of canine rabies in California for at least 6 years, even though some areas of the state have experienced an increase in bat rabies.

Please ask Senators to oppose AB 272 or send it back to the Assembly for revision.


The author says this bill will bring CA into compliance with other state rabies laws. This is not true. Here are the facts concerning other state laws: 


Only 12 States mandate vaccination at 3 months:  Alabama, Arizona, Connecticut, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania


14 States have 4 month laws/regulations:  Arkansas, California, Florida, Illinois, Kentucky, Maryland, Michigan, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia


1 State has a 5 month law/regulation:  Wisconsin 


6 States have 6 month laws/regulations:  Delaware, Iowa, Maine, Massachusetts, Tennessee, West Virginia

  14 States refer only to the Rabies Compendium: Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, North Dakota, Ohio, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Washington State, Wyoming   

Note: Hawaii does not require vaccination; Kansas leaves it up to the municipalities;

Missouri says (3) "Immunized", immunized against rabies at the expense of the owner or custodian by the administration of antirabic virus by a licensed veterinarian.


The bill’s Legislative Digest states that current law requires annual vaccination but annual revaccination is required only after the initial vaccine. Thereafter, revaccination is required every three years as required by every other U.S. state and label instructions on the three-year vaccine.


Who to contact:  

Please immediately contact Governor Brown. 

To call him, dial 916-445-2841. Press 1 when prompted, then 6. When someone answers, tell them you Oppose AB 272, the rabies vaccination bill. They will listen to your reasons for opposing it, but you don't have to state anything other than your opposition. Do tell them you think it's dangerous to the public and puppies alike.

To email, copy-and-paste your comments on the Governor's contact page (it did not limit the page length). You can also fax, call or do all three. When emailing, scroll down to select AB 00272 as the subject, click the "Have Comment" button and on the next page, the "Oppose" button. I voluntarily added my name and address to show I was a constituent. This helps but this wasn't required.

To fax,call (916) 558-3160


Alert all your friends!  Please post this page on Facebook, tweet, etc.