Sandra Kunimoto presented the proposed pet quarantine rules change 3/16 in the paper, but only one side of the issue. The proposal Dr. Foppoli, State Vet, generated is a cruel pretender at reform, created to diffuse the solid, 3-year effort at real reform begun by the Community Quarantine Reform Coalition, http://www.quarantinehawaii.com a broad based organization of about 1,000 members with a large number of medical and scientific professionals.

Fearing that his fiefdom was endangered, Dr. Foppoli has gone so far as to create a seriously flawed study and pretend that is was “Peer Reviewed” by outside expert to establish its credibility over all other studies. He used this to kill legislation the last two years and dissuade the Board of Agriculture from adopting real reform, ending the charade of 91 years that quarantine was necessary or “packs of rabid dogs would run wild in the streets.” There are no documented cases where a properly vaccinated pet ever caused a human to die of rabies that we have discovered to date.

The Hawaii State Attorney General issued a letter 2/10/03, finally confirming the fact that no peer review was done. Dr. Foppoli just invented all that to keep his quarantine bureaucracy intact. He showed his report to no one at all, and lied to the media on camera, to the Legislature, to the Board of Agriculture, and the Administration. State Sen. Fred Hemmings revealed this sham in the legislative hearings on his quarantine reform bill, Ruby’s Law, and Dr. Foppoli admitted this in front of the Senate Agriculture Committee Feb. 14, 2003.

Why is this discredited man still being paid by us, the taxpayers? This flawed proposal presented by an admitted liar will not pass muster with an educated public. Didn’t Gov. Lingle get elected on a platform of accountability of public officials?

”Facts of the Flawed Proposal”

The proposed change offered by Foppoli requires a 5-day quarantine (supposedly for paperwork processing at $525) with a 4-month prearrival wait following the receipt in Hawaii of a successful blood test showing the pet has a high level of protective antibodies against rabies.

To qualify, a pet must be prepared at least 5 to 10 months in advance of a move. Few indeed have the luxury of such advance planning. We estimate less than 5 percent could qualify, and 95 percent would still be stuck with the same old system. Military pets account for 40 percent of quarantined pets and nearly all have less notice.

Under Foppoli’s plan, his entire quarantine bureaucracy would stay intact, and this new plan just adds to the confusion of the 6 different options now offered.

Now, guide dogs, service dogs and working dogs have no quarantine at all due to lawsuits won against the Hawaii at taxpayer expense. They are the same (low) risk, but the 120-day quarantine applies to those hapless pets without 4 months to prepare. It costs $1,080 plus preparation and transportation. The 30-day quarantine at $655 requires a 4-month preparation time with a 90-day prearrival wait.

The fact is that ”’no”’ prearrival wait is necessary at all for a pet with 2 current vaccinations. Worldwide experts agree that the best protection is microchip identification, plural vaccinations and blood serology. This is, in fact, a safer solution than requiring a long prearrival wait before entry. One reason is that smuggling is encouraged when arbitrary barriers to entry are created. Compliance to vaccination requirements is the key to prevention.

His proposal also invites lawsuits as States may legally restrict travel for valid reasons, but only by the least restrictive means. They can’t quarantine humans, for instance, just because humans carry diseases (which are a far greater risk than rabies).

More than 80 percent of the world’s countries have no quarantine at all. The United States, Canada, Spain, France, Italy, and Sweden are a few. Sweden dropped theirs in 1994. With a required vaccination 30 days before entry and a health certificate, pets freely enter the entire USA

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Hawaii Reporter is an award-winning, independent Hawaii-based news and opinion journal founded in 2001 and launched in February 2002. The journal's staff have won a number of top awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, including the top investigative news reporting awards, business reporting awards, government reporting awards, and online news reporting awards.