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The uninformed public's view regarding rabies vaccines and canines is antiquated and seriously flawed. There is no honest "controversy" over the viability of the vaccine for wolves and wolf-dogs, there is only non-compliance. Authorities are refusing to comply with established scientific fact and with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) and their Code of Federal Regulations. This, I would hope, is due to unawareness, rather than the obvious seduction by folklore and ancient mythology.

A few brief points:

  • Modified live vaccines can cause rabies. This is called a vaccine break.
  • Modified live vaccines are no longer used in this country for the approved species.
  • Killed virus vaccines cannot cause rabies. If an animal does get rabies, it is due to contact with the actual rabies virus from another animal. This occurrence, although statistically insignificant, would be called a vaccine failure. This happens relatively often with dogs and cats and can only be attributed to an impotent vaccine, faulty vaccination procedures or an individual animal with an immune deficiency to the vaccine.
  • Wolves and dogs are genetically indistinguishable and are of the same species, Canis lupus, (1993)..
  • Rabies vaccines are approved by USDA for entire species.
  • The National Association of State Public Health Veterinarians (NASPHV), has removed the wolf-dog cross ('hybrid') from their list of species that are not approved for the present rabies vaccines (1995).
  • USDA states, "a wolf X dog cross is to be considered a dog and must be maintained under dog standards..."
  • The Imrab rabies vaccine, a single product, produced by Rhone Merieux, is approved for six species.
  • SmithKline Beecham, one of this country's top rabies vaccine producers, quotes "there is no reason they cannot recommend dog rabies vaccine be used for wolf or wolf-hybrids..."
  • Therefore, "...the use of rabies vaccines [is] appropriate for dogs, wolves and wolf-dog hybrids..." (1995).

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