In an effort to control and prevent the spread of rabies among wild animals, the government of Ontario will begin distributing rabies vaccine baits across Western Toronto.
In August, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will begin hand-dropping baits in selected cities and urban areas. Other than Toronto, they will also target other areas within the raccoon rabies control zone, such as Brantford, Burlington, Hamilton, Kitchener, and Niagara Falls.
In addition, an aircraft will be used to drop the vaccine baits across the eastern and southern part of Ontario, including Hamilton, Niagara Peninsula, and Stratford. By using an aircraft, it will be easier for crews to target forested and rural areas that are impossible to access by foot.
The Rabies Vaccine Baits
The rabies vaccine baits are easily recognizable because of their army-green colour and small size. They also come with a DO NOT EAT label and tons of free rabies details printed on them.
To make the government’s effort effective, the public is asked not to tamper and disturb the dropped baits. If possible, keep pets away from them, too. The vaccine is meant to keep foxes, raccoons, and skunks immunized from rabies.
Although exposure to these rabies vaccine baits is not harmful, pets that ingest these vaccines may experience an upset stomach. If your pet eats the bait, the government urges you to seek help from a veterinarian.
Serious Rabies Prevention Efforts
In 2016, there have been 288 confirmed rabies cases in Ontario alone. One special case involved a bat. In Hamilton, the recorded cases last year involved one red fox, one cat, two bats, 76 skunks, and 127 raccoons.
It is probably because of the alarming number of cases that the government is taking action against rabies. It is expected that they’ll wrap up their efforts in the late fall.