Rabies Bait Drop Begins This Week

08/14/12 6:06AM

Nearly a quarter-million bait chips laced with rabies vaccine will be spread around the state in the next couple weeks. The bait will be dropped from planes, and placed by hand in eight counties in Vermont and in Coos County, New Hampshire.

The Burlington Free Press reports the bait drop is part of a project aimed at preventing the spread of raccoon rabies into Canada. Raccoon rabies is the strain of rabies most commonly found in many animals, including skunks, gray foxes, woodchucks and bats, according Vermont Public Health Veterinarian Robert Johnson.

Johnson said the project has been ongoing since 1997 as an international cooperative effort. Quebec has used this type of bait since 2008 and has not had a case of raccoon rabies since 2009.

Johnson said the baits cannot cause rabies and are not harmful to children or pets. However if you find one around your home, Johnson advises using a plastic bag or glove to move it to a wooded area.

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