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  Subject: Vaccines-Committee Letter to Maine Vets
    Today I received a copy of a letter from Maine's Committee on Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry to the Maine Veterinary Medical Association advising them that, "[w]e strongly encourage Maine veterinarians to inform pet owners of the recommended interval for administering a vaccine and potential risks associated with that vaccine."  I have retyped the text because our scanner is not working properly, if you'd like a copy faxed to you, please e-mail me back with your fax #.
    On a related note, you may be interested to know that Texas whistleblowing veterinarian, Dr. Robert Rogers, recently announced a class action lawsuit "arising from the misrepresentation of the need for pet vaccinations" The Chicago lawfirm of Childress Duffy Goldblatt, Ltd. ( 312-494-0200 -- attorneys Roy R. Brandys and John Sawin are handling this if you would like information about being part of the suit or have questions.  I have spoken with Mr. Sawin about being a plaintiff in this suit, and a Newcastle resident has contacted their firm about joining also.  It is my understanding that Childress Duffy will be issuing some kind of press release or media advisory in the near future.
    After the following links to recent national and one Maine article on pet vaccines is the text of the letter to MVMA.
Vaccination often Good for Life:,0,3030875.column?coll=ny-main-tabheads
No Vaccines for us this Year:
Vaccinating Pets Could Do More Harm than Good (NBC Channel 4 Los Angeles)
Suspicious Shots: 
Veterinarian warns over-vaccination can harm pets
Are Annual Pet Vaccines Necessary?,5778,s1-6-81-118-3844-1,00.html
Can Vaccinating Pets Make them Sick?
Targeting changing vaccine protocols:
Improving Veterinarians' Income a Top Goal of  AVMA President-elect candidate Childers
What Do We Tell Our Clients?,
Developing Common Sense Strategies for Fiscal Responsibility:
AAHA Wraps Up Canine Vaccine Guidelines:
Regards, Kris
June 3, 2005
Dr. Matthew Townsend, President
Maine Veterinary Medical Association
52 Pleasant Street
Waterville, ME  04901
Dear Dr. Townsend:
    This past legislative session, LD 429, An Act to Require Veterinarians to Provide Vaccine Disclosure Forms, was referred to the Agriculture, Conservation and Forestry Committee.  Although the majority of the committee ultimately voted Ought Not to Pass, the committee heard thought-provoking testimony and spent considerable time discussing risks associated with vaccinations and how best to inform pet owners of these risks.  As Chairs, we are writing to offer the committee's thoughts and to request information from the Maine Veterinary Medical Association.
    First, we commend you for bringing Dr. Ellis and Dr. Schultz to Portland on April 30th to present information and differing views on vaccination protocol.  We would appreciate receiving a brief summary of this meeting and any subsequent changes in vaccine protocol recommended by MVMA.  We strongly encourage Maine veterinarians to inform pet owners of the recommended interval for administering a vaccine and potential risks associated with that vaccine.  We realize that immunology is not a static field and the science is complex.  We do not propose to dictate the detail of information provided.  We do, however, want to emphasize the importance of information being available at veterinarian offices.  At a minimum basic information could be provided through brochures in the reception area.  We were given samples of such brochures produced by Cornell's Feline Health Center and the American Animal Hospital Association.  Pet owners who are aware of risks are more likely to ask questions and be better informed when making decisions for their pets.
    At the April 6th work session on LD 429, Bill Bell, speaking on behalf of MVMA, expressed the association's desire to develop an approach for providing information on risks and benefits of vaccinations.  We respectfully request that the Maine Veterinary Medical Association apprise this committee of any materials or guidelines developed by the association in this regard.  We would like to know the extent to which these guidelines or materials are being incorporated in your members' veterinary practices.
Senator John Nutting, Senate Chair
Representative John Piotti, House Chair

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