Require the USDA and Merial to add wildlife to the label of RABORALV-RG Rabies Vaccine

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I am requesting that the U.S.D.A require Merial Inc., whom makes and produces the rabies vaccine, RABORAL V-RG (License # 298) to list the wildlife animals, Skunk, Raccoon, Coyote, Fox and Bat,  that the U.S. government has been giving this rabies vaccine to since 1990, on the label of the vaccine Imrab3 and also make it available to U.S. certified and licensed Veterinarians to also be able to administer the vaccine to these same animals and to be able to give these animals a certificate of rabies vaccination, as is done with all other vaccinated animals, so that these animals will be treated as fair as vaccinated cats, ferrets, horses, dogs etc. are, and given a quarantine time, the same as other animals listed, if they happen to nip/bite someone.

Rabies is an infectious disease of warm-blooded animals, including man. The rabies virus is thought to have originated in bats. The virus survives only in living animals and does not exist in the environment. The virus does not infect birds or cold-blooded creatures such as reptiles and amphibians. Although small mammals, such as rabbits, squirrels and mice can be infected with rabies, these species are considered a low risk for transmitting the disease.

Rabies is more likely to infect mammals such as dogs, mongooses, skunks, coyotes, raccoons or foxes. In all species, the saliva of infected animals contains live rabies virus particles, which can spread to a new host via bites or scratch wounds. Rabies can also be spread by aerosol (saliva droplets in the air) in caves inhabited by large numbers of infected bats.

In the United States, humans are most often infected with the rabies virus by bats. Infected domestic animals, including cats, dogs, horses and cattle, can also transmit rabies to man. Protecting your pets from rabies via regular vaccination is important to reduce the potential of transmission of rabies to your pets and to humans.

While extremely rare in the United States, human deaths are still caused by bites inflicted by unvaccinated rabid dogs in many countries. It is very important to seek post-exposure treatment immediately if ANY animal bites you, especially while traveling outside the United States. Post-exposure treatments for humans are no longer a series of abdominal injections and these treatments are very successful in preventing rabies if begun immediately following exposures. Travelers are often unaware that in certain countries the risk of rabies exposure, even from what seem to be pet dogs, can be very high.

RABORAL V-RG is an oral rabies recombinant vaccine that protects raccoons and coyotes against rabies, thereby reducing the risk of exposure to rabies to humans and domestic animals. It is only sold to government agencies conducting rabies control programs. RABORAL V-RG immunizes the animal during the eating process. While they eats the bait, the vaccine is exposed to the tissues inside the animal's mouth and the vaccine causes an immune response against rabies.
This vaccine is a highly specialized and safe vaccine because it has only one genetic element (i.e., gene) of the rabies virus (NOT the complete virus) so the vaccine will not cause rabies. After eating the vaccine, in approximately 10-14 days the raccoon or coyote will be protected against rabies, should it get exposed to a rabid animal. Each year in the United States, approximately 5 million doses of RABORAL V-RG are distributed into wildlife habitats by public health officials.
The bait-units containing the vaccine are distributed by airplane, helicopter or by hand to reach the target species. The location and number of baits used depends on the severity of the outbreak and the specific public health official's goals for their rabies control efforts. Radio messages, TV announcements and posters are used in communities to alert citizens of upcoming baiting programs.

As of today, November 3, 2017, the US government, will not allow Merial to sell this vaccine to licensed veterinarians to administer to these animals, even though the government has been using them, successfully, since 1990, on these animals. Merial will not add the animals names to the label either. The IMRAB3 vaccine is the intravenous version.     

Every year the federal government distributes ORV (oral rabies vaccine) across the US, by the thousands. They have concluded the cost benefits of the efforts showing that it does eliminate wildlife rabies, saves lives, and the taxpayers pays for this. They say that "To eliminate rabies in our county, like other countries have done, we need to prevent the disease in the wildlife.

As a result of the ORV program, in 2004, the dog/coyote strain of the rabies disease has been eliminated  in Texas. The World Health Organization declared the US free of canine rabies in 2007. This an similar success in Canada and several other European countries demonstrate that using ORV for wildlife can manage and eliminate rabies.

ORV programs reduce Epizootic related pet and livestock vaccination, quarantine and euthanasia, Lessens the burden on state services (paid by taxpayers) for animal diagnostic testing, lessens livestock and wildlife losses.

By combining the expertise of human health care providers, veterinarians & wildlife professionals rabies management can improve the health and well being of all species impacted by this disease.

The partners for Rabies Prevention meeting held in August 2017 in Switzerland, brought together over 40 representatives from 27 organizations to discuss international efforts to support countries as they move forward to eliminate rabies. They have came up with a slogan 'Zero by 30' . They want to eliminate rabies worldwide by the year 2030. It CAN be done and this is just my way of helping, because as long as rabies is in the wildlife, we will not eradicate this disease.

Making this Change happen will not only help save wildlife, but also domestic animals, people and it will help rehabbers and people that own exotics and wildlife. If we don't put these names on the label and make this vaccine available to vets, then I do not see us ever getting to the point of eradicating this disease. It will save taxpayers money, by letting the rehabbers and owners take the animals to their vet and getting the vaccine. It will save these animals lives if they bit someone, they wouldn't have to be killed and decapitated and will save money all around. Also, it just isn't fair to not have these animals names on the labels of the vaccine that the government is giving them, IT WORKS, let the vets buy it from the Merial, let the people buy it from the vets.

The main reason that this is close to my heart is because of a skunk that I rescued at around 4 days old when the mother and siblings got killed by a tractor. I raised her on an eyedropper, got her descented, spayed and vaccinated with the IMRAB 3 rabies vaccine. That did not save her life when she supposedly nipped someone at the age of 6 months old. She was confiscated by the Fish and Wildlife and the Health Dept, took to a local vet, euthanized and decapitated. The person, a relative, that said they got nipped DID NOT EVEN GO TO THE DOCTOR. All they had to do was make a few phone calls to a few places. There was not any proof that my Pepe even bit her. No evidence even was shown for Pepe to be taken away because "That is the Law. She is a Skunk, even though she had the rabies vaccine that is given in the wild by the government, it is just like she has not had it because Skunk is not listed on the label... they have no rights." You can read her full story at PromisesForPepe on Facebook, Instagram, GoFundMe and  .com 

Pepe was born on or about May 2, 2016 and was killed Nov. 2, 2016 The day that they came to take her away I promised her that I would not let her death be in vain. That is when I made this promise to her that I would do what I could to help her kind. I will never forget the health dept person bringing her headless body back to me, still warm, and I held her for 4 hours crying. I do not want any person and especially and animal to ever have to go through this again. It was uncalled for, barbaric, outdated.