August 6, 2004
August 6, 2004 -- Pennsylvania Agriculture Secretary Dennis Wolff announced that the second phase of the annual oral rabies vaccination baiting program will begin on Aug. 9 and run through September.
Low-flying aircraft will drop bait into sparsely populated areas, while trained employees will target densely populated areas by hand. Wildlife rabies accounts for almost 93 percent of the reported rabies cases in the United States while raccoons account for more than 50 percent of this total.
The vaccine contains only a small, non-infective portion of the rabies virus that cannot cause rabies and is placed inside a fishmeal bait to lure raccoons to the smell. When the raccoon punctures the sealed plastic package, the vaccine is released into its mouth. Although the primary focus is to vaccinate raccoons, other animals such as dogs, cats, cattle, horses, skunks and foxes also benefit from the program.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture?s Wildlife Services is working in conjunction with six agencies to carry out this program.