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Vaccine Approval FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions on vaccine data collection

Karin wolf on ice. Photo Copyright Monty Sloan / Wolf Park.
1) What can I do to help ?

Educate. Spread the word that canine rabies vaccines are effective and safe for use in dogs, wolves and wolf-dog crosses. Also spread the word that wolves and dogs are the same species. For more information on how you can help, contact the National Wolfdog Alliance's Legislative Committee by visiting http://www.wolfdogalliance.org/legislation/rabiesissue.html.

2) What was this study for ?

The study was to show that modified live vaccines for distemper, parvo, parainfluenza, adenovirus type 2 (canine hepatitis), coronavirus and bordetella brochiseptica, do not effect wolves or wolf dogs in an adverse way. In other words the mlv vaccines will not make wolves sick and would establish that the immune systems of dogs and wolves are essentially identical so that the USDA can recommend all canine vaccines for use in wolves and wolf-dogs.

3) For the study, did you need rabies vaccine information ?

No. The vaccines covered in the requested field study were the common 5-way 7-way and 8-way Modified Live Virus (MLV), vaccines that all dogs receive. The rabies vaccine was not part of this study. The USDA had already concurred that current killed rabies vaccines are effective and safe in wolves.

4) I don't understand, if USDA believes the rabies vaccine works, why do they need information on these other vaccines ?

The USDA can not approve any of the individual rabies vaccines for wolves as long as they are considered to be a different species from dogs, unless a challenge test is conducted. However, the study did provide the data they needed to designate wolves and dogs as the same species for the purposes of vaccine approval. This should have allowed approval of all current canine vaccines for wolves and wolf dog crosses.

5) Wolfdogs are illegal in my state, county etc. and I participated in the study. What information about me and my animal was given to the USDA ?

NO personal identifying information about you or your animal was given to the USDA or anyone else. If your vet was already aware that your animal is a wolfdog the veterinarian may have assigned a number to the animal instead of a name. We did not advise anyone in a state in which wolfdogs are illegal to endanger their animal by informing their vet that they own a wolfdog. If you gave the Wolf Dog Coalition your name and address to send you the data forms we did NOT give that information to anyone. As further protection the form was available to you via email in PDF format. E-mail addresses are also kept confidential.

Please read the letter from Acting USDA Administrator Craig A. Reed to Congressman Wolf reassuring us that the identities of individuals providing wolf/wolfdog vaccination records for use in the MLV study will remain confidential.

6) I vaccinate my dogs myself, could I have participated ?

Unfortunately the USDA only accepted vaccination information that was accompanied by a veterinarian's or wildlife researcher's signature. You could have still helped by getting friends to participate or if you know breeders or veterinarians that treat wolfdogs you could've asked them to participate in the study. Alternatively, if your animals were due for vaccination you might have considered having your veterinarian vaccinate them so he could fill out the form.

7) I heard WERF was doing this study and I already sent my information to them, did I need to send it to you too?

Yes. Unfortunately WERF had caused some confusion in regards to this study and was not working with The Wolf Dog Coalition despite our requests that they do so. For full information regarding this issue please read our Clarification Letter, as well as the USDA's letter of February 13, 1998.

8) Did I need to include proof of percentage for my wolfdog ?

NO. As long as your vet signed the form stating that your dog had been represented to them as 50% or greater wolf content that is all that was required.

Copyright © 1998-2002 Wolf Dog Coalition. All rights reserved. Permission to reprint this letter in its entirety granted.

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