July 17 Informational Meeting On Rabies Vaccine Bait Drop

For immediate release: July 12, 2002

Contact: Dr. Bob Johnson
Public Health Veterinarian

BURLINGTON, VT—The Vermont Department of Health, Cornell University and USDA Wildlife Services will hold a public meeting on July 17 to discuss the upcoming rabies bait drop, planned for early August.

Members of the public and news media are invited to attend the meeting from 7-9 p.m. at the University of Vermont School of Natural Resources in Room 104 of the Aiken Building.

Oral rabies vaccine in the form of fish-scented bait will be dropped from aircraft over towns in Chittenden, Caledonia, Essex, Franklin, Grand Isle, Lamoille and Orleans counties. Bait will be hand-placed throughout Burlington, South Burlington and other highly populated areas.

The baits are not harmful to people, pets or wildlife. Contact with the bait does not cause rabies.

Raccoon rabies was confirmed in southern Vermont in June 1994. Since that time, hundreds of cases of animal rabies have been confirmed as the outbreak has spread northward.

With the rabies bait drop project, research veterinarians from Cornell University are trying to keep raccoon rabies from spreading across the Vermont/Canada border.

This is the seventh rabies bait drop to take place in Vermont. The first bait drop took place in May 1997.