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Wolf Dog Coalition - Scientists' Petition

We the undersigned believe, based on current scientific fact and opinion that:

1. Wolves and dogs are currently taxonomically listed as Canis lupus, dogsbeing separated as the subspecies "familiaris" (Wozencraft 1993) and that domestic dogsare in fact gray wolves, differing from wolves by simple changes in developmental rateand timing.

2. Wolves and dogs are very closely related and can't be genetically distinguishedfrom one another on a species level by any DNA based techniques available at thepresent time (Wayne and O'Brien 1987, Wayne et. al 1992, and Wayne 1993)

3. Due to the similarity in genetic identity and similarity in IgG antibody(Federoff unpublished data) between wolves and dogs, both should respond to rabies vaccines in a similar manner.

4. With the above tenets in mind, it would be scientifically feasible to assume that a canine rabies vaccine developed for use in domestic dogs would be equallyresponsive and effective for use in wolves, this same vaccine also being licensed for use insuch unrelated species as horses, cats, ferrets, cows and sheep.


Federoff, N.E., L.D. Mech, F. Kueppers, and D.J. Briggs. Antibody responseto rabies vaccination in members of the genus Canis. (In prep)

Wayne, R.K., N. Lehman, M.W. Allard, and R.L. Honeycutt. 1992. Mitochondrial DNA variability of the gray wolf: Genetic consequences of population decline andhabitat fragmentation. Conservation Biology 6(4): 559-569.

Wayne, R.K. 1993. Molecular evolution of the dog family. Trends ingenetics 9(6): 218-224.

Wayne, R.K. and S.J. O'Brien. 1987. Allozyme divergence within theCanidae. Systematic Zoology 36: 339-355.

Wozencraft, W.C. 1993. Canidae IN Mammal species of the world: Ataxonomic and geographic reference. Smithsonian Institute.

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

Copyright © 1996-1998 Wolf Dog Coalition. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint this letter in its entirety granted.

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