New bill would let sick pets skip rabies vaccination

A recent Delaware bill may allow exemptions from yearly rabies vaccinations, a topic that has been controversial in the veterinary community.

Certain health problems can render pets more likely to suffer adverse reactions to vaccinations. On January 28, lawmakers in the state of Delaware passed a bill that offers exemptions for sick, disabled or infirm dogs, cat and ferrets from rabies vaccines if their vets determine the shots would be harmful to their health.

House Bill 214, which was filed last summer by Rep. Ron Gray, R-Selbyville, states that veterinarians must certify any such exemptions in writing. Exemptions would remain valid for one year only, after which the pet’s condition would need to be re-evaluated. As of this writing, the bill has yet to be signed into law by Delaware Governor, John Carney.

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