BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    ”

                                                                  AB 258
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          Date of Hearing:   April 6, 2011

                              Cathleen Galgiani, Chair
                  AB 258 (Hagman) - As Introduced:  February 7, 2011
          SUBJECT  :  Rabies: vaccinations.

           SUMMARY  :  This bill exempts from canine antirabies vaccination 
          (CAV) requirements the owner of a dog that a licensed 
          veterinarian determines has a compromised immune system or 
          pre-existing condition that renders the vaccine dangerous to the 
          animal's health.  Specifically,  this bill  : 

          1)Exempts certain dogs from CAV requirements if they have a 
            compromised immune system or other health problem. 

          2)Requires the Department of Public Health (DPH) to develop a 
            standardized form for the request for an exemption.  

          3)Requires the exemption request be signed by a licensed 

          4)Requires a signed statement from the dog owner acknowledging 
            and accepting all liability associated with owning an 
            unvaccinated dog. 

          5)Allows the local health officer to quarantine a dog that is 
            exempt from  CAV until the medical condition has resolved 

          6)Requires unvaccinated dogs to be on a leash and in control of 
            any adult, whenever the dog leaves the dog owners premises.  

          7)Requires an unvaccinated dog to not come in contact with other 
            dogs or cats that are not currently vaccinated. 


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          8)Requires the responsible city or county to report all 
            exemptions issued to DPH. 

          9)Limits the license period for an exempt dog to one year.

           EXISTING LAW  requires every dog owner to, once the dog is older 
          than four months, obtain a dog license from the responsible 
          local government at least every two years, and obtain a CAV 
          every year.  Existing law also allows local governments to pass 
          ordinances for the issuance of a dog license, for a period not 
          to exceed three years for dogs older than 12 months, which have 
          been vaccinated against rabies.  The person to whom the license 
          is issued may choose a license period as established by the 
          governing body, except that the license shall not extend beyond 
          the validity for the current antirabies vaccination.  (Health 
          and Safety Code Section 121690)

           FISCAL EFFECT  :  This bill is keyed fiscal by Legislative 

           COMMENTS  :   According to the author, this bill arose from an 
          incident in his district.  A pet owner in Chino Hills, whose dog 
          is immune compromised, attempted to obtain an exemption from 
          CAV.  A veterinarian determined that giving the dog a CAV "could 
          potentially be detrimental to her ›the dog's] health, and may 
          incite another recurrence of her ›the dog's] Immune-mediated 
          disease".  The pet owner was denied an exemption by the Inland 
          Valley Humane Society (IVHS), Chino Hills' contactors for animal 
          control services.  IVHS reviewed the case and did not find that 
          CAV would cause the dog to die.  IVHS stated that granting the 
          exemption would open the agency and the city to litigation if 
          the dog contracted rabies and infected others.  

          According to DPH's California's Compendium of Rabies Control and 
          Prevention, 2004, (CCRCP) a local health officer may, upon a 
          written recommendation of a veterinarian, issue a rabies 
          immunization exemption where illness or veterinary medical 
          condition, in a dog, warrants.  The exempted animal must be in 
          strict rabies isolation conditions, which are at the discretion 
          of the local health officer, until such time as the medical 
          condition is resolved and the animal can obtain a CAV.

          AB 258 codifies the CCRCP's recommendations on immunization 


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          exemptions.  Supporters state that this provides a safe and 
          medically sound way to protect California's dogs and public 
          health.  Supporters further point out that at least 10 other 
          states have similar exemptions to CAV without adverse to public 

          PREVIOUS LEGISLATION:  AB 2000 (Hagman) of 2010 would have 
          exempted a dog from the rabies vaccination requirement if a 
          licensed veterinarian determines, on an annual basis, that a 
          rabies vaccination would endanger the dog's life.  This bill was 
          held in the Senate Appropriations Committee.


          Humane Society Veterinary Medical Association (sponsor) 
          California Federation of Dog Clubs
          California Veterinary Medical Association
          Concerned Dog Owners of California, Sponsor
          Paw PAC
          San Lorenzo Dog Training Club, Inc.
          Weimaraner Club, Inc.
          155 individuals

          None on file
          Analysis Prepared by  :    Victor Francovich / AGRI. / (916)