BILL ANALYSIS                                                                                                                                                                                                    

                                                                  AB 272
                                                                  Page  1

          Date of Hearing:   April 10, 2013

                                  Mike Gatto, Chair

                  AB 272 (Gomez) - As Introduced:  February 7, 2013 

          Policy Committee:                              AgricultureVote:7  
          - 0 

          Urgency:     No                   State Mandated Local Program:  
          Yes    Reimbursable:              No


          This bill changes the age that dogs must be vaccinated for  
          rabies from four months of age or older to three months of age  
          or older. 

           FISCAL EFFECT  

          There are no significant costs associated with this legislation.


           1)Rationale  . The author argues that the state's current  
            four-month age requirement for vaccination is out of step with  
            current federal rules, other states, and existing vaccine  
            labels. By allowing veterinarians to vaccinate for rabies at  
            three months, the author and supporters hope that this will  
            reduce the chance of over-vaccination for young dogs coming  
            into California and will align California rabies law with  
            other states.

          The sponsors of the bill, the Health Officers Association of  
            California, believe this language allows for vaccination as  
            early as three months but does not mandate vaccination that  
            young, nor does the bill change the current four month age  
            requirement for obtaining a dog license. They hope that this  
            change will give owners the opportunity to vaccinate their  
            dogs earlier when there is an increased risk of rabies in an  
            area.  As an example, the sponsors note that there has been a  
            significant increase in the number of rabid bats found in Los  
            Angeles County. While the increase has not resulted in any  
            dogs being infected, they are concerned that there is an  


                                                                  AB 272
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            elevated risk for dogs. 

           2)Opposition  . The California Federation of Dog Clubs argues that  
            lowering the age for puppies to receive their rabies  
            vaccination is counter to current medical advice.  They assert  
            that early-age vaccination is often ineffective due to the  
            interference of maternal antibodies. The federation believes  
            this policy could increase the potential risk for dog-to-human  
            rabies cases, if the dog does not acquire the necessary  
            immunity through the vaccination.

          In addition, the Rabies Challenge Fund notes that only 13 states  
            have laws or regulations that mandate rabies vaccinations for  
            dogs as young as three months.  13 other states, including  
            California have a four months mandate and six states require  
            vaccination at the age of six months. 

           Analysis Prepared by  :    Julie Salley-Gray / APPR. / (916)