Date: Dec 9, 2010 at 4:24AM
Subject: Guam Rabies Quarantine Letter

Dr Poole,

The Hawaii DOA recently received a letter from a Guam resident highly critical of the Guam quarantine facility and program. From Hawaii's perspective, points that need clarification include comments regarding (1) escape of animals from the quarantine facility and (2) failure to place animals in a quarantine facility. The status of Guam with respect to entry of animals into Hawaii without rabies quarantine is based on Guam maintaining a program at least as stringent as the Hawaii program.

Any information you can provide on escapes and failure to quarantine is important to assess risk relative to rabies introduced into Guam and subsequent movement of an animal to Hawaii potentially incubating rabies.

James Foppoli, PhD, DVM
State Veterinarian
Hawaii Department of Agriculture


From: Territorial Veterinarian
Date: Tue, Dec 14,2010 at 1:04AM
Subject: Re: Guam Rabies Quarantine Letter

Dear Dr Foppoli,

I am happy to respond to these allegations, and I could guess the source pretty easily. We were up nearly every night last week for his third hearing in four years. Early Friday morning he was found guilty of incompetence, negligence, and unprofessional conduct. Again. But more to the point, in the five years that I have been in this job there have been no escapes from quarantine or animals released from quarantine early (lots of crying, lots of threats, but we never budged). The only exception has been animals that required veterinary hospital care. In those cases I had to approve the move from commercial quarantine to the clinic and back again when treatment was completed. The animals could only be treated by the quarantine veterinarian and in a completely segregated part of the hospital.

As you know, we have a home quarantine system for qualifying animals. It applies to animals from the United States with a microchip, a minimum of two rabies vaccinations, and a FAVN titer at least twice as high as that required for Hawaii's 5-day or less quarantine (>1.0). The animals still spend at least one night in quarantine to check microchips, re-verify documents, and complete a physical examination by the quarantine veterinarian.

Finally, we routinely perform brain analyses following stray animal bites when we can apprehend the animal. So far, no positives. Jim, please find time to come visit Guam and I will show you everything.

All the best, Tom

Thomas N. Poole, MPH, DVM, DACVPM
Guam Territorial Veterinarian
(671) 734-3943