Annual USDA rabies bait drop designed to stop rabies spread

August 19, 2019 GMT

MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Wildlife officials in Vermont, New Hampshire and Maine are continuing a yearslong effort to stop the spread of rabies by distributing an oral vaccine targeted at raccoons across the three states.

Low-flying aircraft dropped the vaccines in Vermont and New Hampshire last week.

This week, officials are continuing to hand-place the bait. It’s designed for raccoons, but is also effective for skunks and foxes.

Vermont Public Health Veterinarian Natalie Kwit says the bait packs are not poisonous, but they should be left alone.

Carrie Stengel of the U.S. Department of Agriculture tells the Caledonian-Record the goal is to reach and vaccinate 70% to 80% of the population so the raccoon variant of rabies can die out.