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Wolf Dog Coalition - Sept. 20, 1997 USDA Administrator Medley letter to Congressman Wolf

September 20, 1997

Honorable Frank R. Wolf
U.S. House of Representatives
241 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-4610

Dear Congressman Wolf:

This is an update concerning efforts to extend the recommendation for the use of certain canine vaccines, particularly rabies vaccines, to wolves and wolf-dog hybrids.

In previous correspondence, we have indicated that we would require information establishing that the immune systems of dogs and wolves are essentially identical before taking action to recommend any canine vaccine for use in wolves and hybrids. In our letter of June 3, 1997, we informed you that we were requiring the vaccination records for 1,500 animals--500 animals considered to be pure wolves, and 1,000 hybrids documented to be 50 percent or more of wolf lineage--to obtain a statistically significant level of risk. Each vaccination history would include data on the use of all modified live canine vaccines in wolves, including canine coronavirus and Bordetella Bronchiseptica vaccines.

However, recent discussions with your constituent, Ms. Diana Bendit have revealed that, because there appear to be fewer than 500 wolves in the United States under the care of a veterinarian, it may not be possible to obtain a sample of this size. Because we would like to continue working toward a resolution of this issue, we have indicated to Ms. Bendit that we will review data on as many wolves as are available, provided they also submit a detailed description of their efforts to locate pure wolves. In addition, if bordetella and coronavirus vaccines are not being used in wolves and wolf hybrids, documentation to this effect--in the form of letters from accredited veterinarians or others responsible for vaccine administration should be submitted to our officials.

We hope to reach a solution to this situation that is acceptable to all parties concerned, and we believe these measures will help achieve that goal. If you have any questions or concerns regarding these recent developments, please contact us. In addition, we understand that Mr. Ted Cartwright is no longer the contact person for this issue in your office, and we would appreciate your advising us of the new contact person.

We hope you find this information useful.


  Terry L. Medley
  USDA, APHIS Administrator

Copy of original signed letter is available upon request.
Contact The Wolf Dog Coalition ( psykowuf@erols.com ).

Copyright © 1998 Wolf Dog Coalition. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint this letter in its entirety granted.

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