Oral Rabies Vaccines To Be Dropped From The Sky in Erie and Niagara Counties
Erie County will be doing their part in helping stop the spread of rabies through wildlife by dropping vaccines from the sky. In a press release from Erie County,
"The Erie County Department of Health (ECDOH) In collaboration with the Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, the NY State Department of Health and the US Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA/APHIS) Wildlife Services, is participating in a wildlife baiting rabies vaccination initiative."
From August 15-31, an estimated 406,800 rabies vaccine baits will be dropped and spread in both Erie and Niagara counties. The will be dropped by a "fixed-wing aircraft" over rural areas and in suburban town/villages and in open areas of the City of Buffalo. The baiting will take around 3 days to complete, depending on weather conditions. Oral Vaccines will also be distributed by vehicle from the ECDOH Division of Environmental Health’s Rabies, Disease, and Vector Control Program staff.
If you see the bait they are asking you to leave it untouched. However, if you see it in your driveway or lawn where it is unlikely to attract wildlife such as raccoons, you can remove it from the area. The FAQ instructs people in this position to remove the bait as such,
"While wearing a glove or other protective covering (i.e., plastic bag), you could move bait to a wooded area where a raccoon, skunk, fox or coyote will be more likely to find it. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after any contact with a bait."
See the maps of the vaccination zones HERE.
To learn more about the program or to ask any further questions call 1–866–4–USDA–WS (1–866–487–3297) or visit their website here.