RABIES VACCINES AND THE WOLF
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
- 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
- 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
- Therefore, "...the use of rabies vaccines [is] appropriate for dogs, wolves and
wolf-dog hybrids..." (1995).
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