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Wolf Dog Coalition - Pierotti, Ph.D. letter to Secretary of Agriculture

Dan Glickman, Secretary of Agriculture
14th Street and Independence Ave, SW
Washington D. C. 20250

Dear Secretary Glickman:

I am a professor of Evolutionary Biology. As you will see from the enclosed letter, I was a member of an April 4, 1996 advisory panel on use of rabies vaccines in wolves and crosses between wolves and domestic dogs. In this meeting the consensus opinion expressed by myself an the other members of the scientific community in attendance was that the killed rabies vaccines were completely safe for use in captive wolves and crosses between wolves an domestic dogs, and that such use was in the interests of public health because of a threat posed by an outbreak of rabies carried by coyotes in Texas and other parts of the south.

Dr. Miller, the chief veterinarian for APHIS, rendered a decision that the "data were conflicting and inconclusive" and "do not support a change in APHIS policy... at this time." In my opinion Dr. Miller's decision is not only not in accordance to the best scientific evidence, but directly in contrast to the opinion of every scientist present.

Given the risk posed by coyote-borne rabies to human health, which is a serious concern of the CDC, Dr. Miller's decision would also appears to run counter to the APHIS mandate, to protect humans from animal borne pathogens. This appears to be a case where a mid-level bureaucrat is ignoring the public interest because of pressure by narrow special interests not to change policy, and to continue the status quo, even at risk to public safety.

Under these conditions, I strongly encourage you to prevail upon, or if necessary to overrule Dr. Miller in the interests of both public safety and the scientific community.

If you would like further clarification or information on the issues involved, please feel free to contact me an the above address, or at XXX-XXX-XXXX or on e-mail at XXXXXX.


Raymond Pierotti, Ph.D.
Professor of Evolutionary Biology

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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