December 4, 2018
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry is planning to conduct oral rabies vaccine bait distribution flights in response to two confirmed positive rabies cases in the Niagara area and one confirmed positive rabies case in the Township of North Dumfries. The baiting flights are scheduled to take place on December 10-11, 2018 (weather permitting) out of Kitchener-Waterloo Regional Airport and Niagara District Airport. Flights will be conducted by MNRF staff flying in a yellow EC130 helicopter at an altitude of approximately 500 feet above ground level (AGL). The target areas are largely rural (see attached map). MNRF will have ground crews working to bait communities within the flight boundaries on December 6-7, 2018.
The khaki-green coloured baits being distributed by the helicopter are made of wax with an attractant flavour (vanilla-sugar). When raccoons, skunks or foxes eat the baits they will be vaccinated against rabies. A label with a toll-free telephone number (1-888-574-6656) and “Do not eat” are located on the exterior of the bait and a plastic package containing the liquid rabies vaccine is embedded in the centre. If found, the bait should not be touched, but left for raccoons, skunks and foxes to consume.
Ontario’s rabies control program is a joint effort that receives important input and contributions from a variety of partners across the province. Provincial ministries, federal agencies, regional health units, municipalities, wildlife rehabilitators, licensed trappers, wildlife control agents and Indigenous communities are all key to the continued success of Ontario’s world-renowned rabies control program.
For further information about rabies in Ontario, please visit Ontario.ca/rabies or contact MNRF’s rabies information line at 1-888-574-6656.