On August 7 and 8, 2020, the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs will distribute vaccine baits in 32 municipalities of Montérégie. The purpose of this operation is to maintain the immunization of raccoons, skunks and foxes against raccoon rabies. It is one of the measures that are part of the government's plan to prevent raccoon rabies in 2020.
The vaccine will be distributed by aircraft over an area of roughly 1,400 km2.
Airplanes will fly at low altitude to drop approximately 175,000 rabies vaccine baits.
Mainly forest habitats will be targeted.
List of municipalities targeted by the 2020 control:
Bedford, Dundee, Dunham, Elgin, Franklin, Frelighsburg, Godmanchester, Havelock, Hemmingford,
Henryville, Hinchinbrooke, Huntingdon, Lacolle, Noyan, Ormstown, Pike River, Saint-Anicet, Saint-Armand, Saint-Bernard-de-Lacolle, Saint-Chrysostome, Sainte-Clotilde, Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville,
Saint-Patrice-de-Sherrington, Saint-Paul-de-l'Île-aux-Noix, Saint-Sébastien Saint-Valentin, Stanbridge East, Stanbridge Station TNO aquatique de la MRC de Brome-Missisquoi, TNO aquatique de la MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent ,Très-Saint-Sacrement, Venise-en-Québec
Vaccine baits look like greenish ketchup packets or olive-green ravioli and have a sweet smell that attracts targeted species. The bait's shell is designed to be resistant to impacts from being dropped from the air and to exposition to all kinds of weather conditions. Because of their camouflage colour, they blend in the environment and are very difficult for humans to spot once they are distributed.
Advice for citizens during the vaccine operation:
The vaccine baits are intended for wild animals, so you should avoid handling them.
Although the vaccine baits are considered safe, please take the following precautions should you come into contact with a perforated or broken bait:
Wash your hands and any other part of your body that came into contact with the bait using soap and water
Call the number on the back of the bait or dial 811 to contact Info-Santé.
If your pet ate a bait, consult a veterinarian. It is very important to note that you cannot take for granted that your pet is immunized from rabies even if it has consumed a vaccine bait.
Health and safety reminders
If you are bitten or scratched by an animal or come into contact with its saliva, wash the wound with soap and water for 10 minutes, even if it seems minor. Promptly contact Info-Santé at 811 to ensure proper follow-up.
Residents who live in Estrie and Montérégie can contribute significantly to the fight against raccoon rabies. They are asked to report dead raccoons, skunks and foxes or animals that seem disoriented, injured, unusually aggressive or paralyzed by dialing 1 877 346-6763 or by filling out an online form at Québec.ca/raccoonrabies.
Never approach an unknown wild or domestic animal even if it seems inoffensive.
Take steps to avoid attracting wild animals on your property (e.g., putting your outdoor garbage out of animals' reach).
Avoid moving troublesome animals, because you could spread diseases such as rabies to other territories.
Consult a veterinarian to ensure that your pets receive regular rabies vaccines or to have your pet immediately examined if it is bitten by a wild animal likely to transmit rabies.
Rabies is a fatal, incurable disease that can be transmitted to humans by infected animals.
Enhanced surveillance activities have been maintained in 2020 so that raccoon rabies will not be introduced into Québec. Although the situation is improving, cases of raccoon rabies are discovered every year in the United States, which remains a threat to Québec.
The Raccoon Rabies Prevention Plan has been effective since 2006, following the discovery of the first raccoon rabies case in Québec. As a result of efforts to prevent and control raccoon rabies, no cases have been identified since 2015.
Related links and sources:
For additional information on raccoon rabies in Québec: Québec.ca/raccoonrabies.
For more information on the Department and its activities and achievements, visit mffp.gouv.qc.ca and its social media feeds: https://www.facebook.com/ForetsFauneParcs https://twitter.com/MFFP_Quebec
Source: Patrick Harvey Coordonnateur des relations de presse Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs Tél. : 418 627-8609, poste 3061
SOURCE Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs