Wow - the first time I have not been at a Compendium Committee meeting in nearly 2 decades, and I missed the opportunity to meet you or hear your presentation if you gave one. I have to say that you are starting out on the right track. The contacts with these people and others within USDA, CDC, manufacturers, is VERY important to your cause and making yourselves known and visible to these people is extremely important. You may attract their interest and willingness to try to help, but keep in mind (as you have emphasized on your web site), that absolutely NOTHING will change unless and until extensive testing is done and it will be at YOUR cost - not a manufacturer's.
The Wildlife Education and Research Foundation has been pursuing USDA approval of rabies vaccines for use in wolves and Wolf Hybrids (wolfdogs) since 1988, but although great strides were made in influencing the attitudes of "those that be in power," it was always made very plain that without the required extensive scientific testing, absolutely nothing would change. One group (Wolfdog Coalition) was convinced that it was completely political and attempted to skirt doing the scientific testing by trying to amend the Code of Federal Regulations. Other intermittent groups have tried similar efforts. Unfortunately, the scientific community nixed it entirely from the inception of that effort, and with good reason.
The State Public Health Veterinarians are employed for one reason and one reason only - to protect human health and safety. That is something that the Coalition never understood or could accept at any rate.
Because skunks are large reservoirs for rabies and because there is an identifiable skunk rabies virus variant, your job is going to be doubly hard, and there is no way you are going to get around having that testing (as set out in the CFR) done before you can get near your goal.
Your listing of state regulations is a very good idea. Make sure the contacts in those agencies and the manufacturers know about it and receive the listing. Keep attending as many scientific conferences as you can - the Compendium Committee meetings, the ASPHV conventions (go to the Rabies Committee meeting), don't ignore or gloss over
ANY of the information you hear at these meetings. It is important that you know. Titer level testing doesn't really mean a thing so far as indicating actual immunity to the disease, so don't even bother with it. All it indicates is that either the animal has had contact or exposure to the disease or that it's immune system is trying to react to an administered vaccine. You are dealing with a separate species (like the ferret people), so it might be wise to try to contact those groups to find out exactly how they went about it. It took quite a few years for them to get a vaccine approved for ferrets.
These are just suggestions and comments, and please don't take offense. I have always found that diplomacy and willingness to learn is your best ally, not trying to impress someone with what you have done/are planning to do. Especially when you're dealing with scientists who have devoted their lives to one particular area.
I wish you all the luck in the world - but strongly suggest that you conduct some very heavy fundraising campaigns!!
The Wildlife Education and Research Foundation