Ontario continues efforts to control rabies in wildlife

Ontario has continued with one of the most successful wildlife rabies eradication programs in North America by distributing 385,000 wildlife baits containing rabies vaccine this summer.

The vaccine helps to control the spread of rabies in skunks and foxes and continues to keep Ontario raccoons free of rabies. The baits have been distributed in the following areas:

  • Throughout southwestern Ontario.
  • In the Niagara region between Welland Canal and Niagara River, including Navy Island.
  • On Wolfe, Howe, Simcoe and Hill islands in St. Lawrence River as well as a small area on the mainland near Prescott.

The flavoured baits immunize most skunks, foxes and raccoons that eat them. Baits are small and khaki green, with a toll-free rabies hotline number stamped on them. If you see baits, please leave them undisturbed.

The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR) has spent the past 40 years in a campaign to better understand the disease and eliminate rabies carried by raccoons, foxes and skunks from the province.

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3 Responses

  1. Arlene Silva says:

    BRAVO to Ontario for their effective rabies control programs; for their rabies *free* raccoon population and for being a role model for the rest of the world. Too bad the rest of the world is not paying attention…

  2. Jonathan fleming says:

    Have there been any studies to test the effectiveness of these vaccines on larger carnivores such as dogs, bobcats or cougars?

  3. Marie says:

    Jonathan, I’m not a biologist and my knowledge is limited on this but as far as the animals you mentioned minus dog, there are few reported cases of rabies in those mammals. As for domesticated dogs, you can already get them vaccinated at your local vet. I think the focus here is wildlife. There are different strains of rabies like fox, raccoon etc although the animas can be susceptible to multiple strains. I believe research in to rabid bats was done as well, in Ontario anyway.

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