USDA’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service Wednesday announced it will continue field evaluation of the oral rabies vaccine bait ONRAB in eight states.
The effort is part of a larger-scale rabies prevention effort and will assess distribution methods and effectiveness in raccoons, skunks, and other wildlife. Beginning in late July, APHIS and cooperators will distribute approximately 3.5 million vaccine baits in parts of Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to test the immune effects in targeted wildlife. During October, APHIS also will distribute vaccine baits in parts of Tennessee.
The vaccine bait is a blister pack filled with the vaccine and coated with a sweet attractant. When an animal bites into one of the baits, it will release the vaccine into their mouth and, with an adequate dose, develop immunity to rabies. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the bait but are asked to leave the bait undisturbed if they encounter it.