VT Health Department Starting Annual Rabies Bait Drop on Monday

By Joe Gullo

Published 08/08 2014 01:21PM

Updated 08/08 2014 01:23PM

BURLINGTON , Vt.- The Vermont Health Department is starting its annual rabies bait drop on Monday.

A press release says the bait drop will take place August 11 - 18, weather permitting, in eight Vermont counties to stop the spread of rabies.

“The USDA may increase the dose of vaccine in the baits this year due to the number of cases in densely populated areas,” State Public Health Veterinarian Dr. Robert Johnson said.

The Health Department says 18 of the 31 animals that have tested positive for rabies so far this year have been in the state’s most populated region, Chittenden County.

Baits will be dropped into rural parts of Vermont, primarily across the northern region along the Canadian border, from low-flying planes for two days. Hand placed baits will be distributed in urban areas as part of a nationally coordinated effort led by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA).

If anyone finds the bait, the health department says, they should leave it untouched, unless it is discovered on a lawn or driveway. Remove the bait with a glove and wash your hands with soap and water.

The Health Department advises the public to avoid any animal that shows strange behavior. Do not try to trap or capture the animal, but instead call the state’s Rabies Hotline at 1-800-472-2437 (1-800-4-RABIES), or in-state (802)-223-8697.

For more information visit www.healthvermont.gov.

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