Supports council's opposition to wolf, wolf-dog proposal

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The AVMA House of Delegates supported a recommendation by the AVMA Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents opposing a federal proposal to broaden the definition of "dog" to include wolves and wolf-dog crosses for vaccination purposes. If the regulations are amended as described in the rule proposed by the USDA-APHIS, drug manufacturers will be able to include wolves and wolf-dog crosses to the indications on all canine vaccine labels.

When the proposal first appeared in the Federal Register last year, the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents and Council on Public Health and Regulatory Veterinary Medicine sent opposing recommendations to the AVMA Executive Board. While the former opposed the change, the latter suggested that reasonable evidence exists supporting the safe and efficacious use of canine vaccines in wolves and the hybrids (see JAVMA, Jan 15, 2000, page 158).

The Executive Board ultimately voted in favor of the recommendation from the Council on Biologic and Therapeutic Agents, and a letter was sent to APHIS stating the Association's opposition to the proposed rule.

The council's chief objection was the lack of scientific evidence supporting APHIS' suggestion that vaccines used to treat domestic dogs would work safely in wolves and wolf-dog crosses. There was also concern over the implications of the federal government ruling that the two species are essentially the same; the council thought it in the public interest not to blur the meaning of "dog." At press time, APHIS had not ruled on the proposal.