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Ontario eliminates raccoon rabies

Archived News Release

Ontario eliminates raccoon rabies

McGuinty Government Protects People And Wildlife

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Raccoon rabies has been eliminated in Ontario.

Since the first case in 1999, Ontario has had 132 cases of raccoon rabies.  International standards, set by the World Organization for Animal Health, requires two years without a case of rabies before a jurisdiction can confirm it has eliminated a particular strain of rabies. 

The last confirmed case of raccoon strain rabies in Ontario was in September 2005. 

The ministry has eliminated the disease through a combination of rabies vaccine baits, Trap-Vaccinate-Release and Point of Infection Control programs.

Ontario will continue monitoring for raccoon rabies to ensure early warning of possible new outbreaks.

Quick Facts

  • Ontario’s rabies control programs are so successful that several states and provinces have adopted the same programs.  New Brunswick successfully eliminated raccoon strain rabies using methods pioneered in Ontario.
  • Southern Ontario has approximately 1.1 million raccoons.
  • Incidence of fox strain rabies is down 97 per cent since 1989, with only 44 cases in 2007.

Background Information

Additional Resources


“This success wouldn’t be possible without my ministry’s world-leading efforts in rabies research and control. We will continue to work tirelessly in protecting the health and safety of all Ontarians, pets and wildlife.”

Donna Cansfield

Minister of Natural Resources



Environment and Energy