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Rabies Vaccine Bait Drop Protects Public Health in Hamilton

Archived Bulletin

Rabies Vaccine Bait Drop Protects Public Health in Hamilton

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

Baits containing a rabies vaccine will be distributed in the east end of Hamilton this week following the discovery of a rabid raccoon in the area on December 4.

This is Ontario's first confirmed case of rabies in a raccoon since September 2005.

If you have been in contact with a sick raccoon, or if you have seen any animals acting strangely, report it to the City of Hamilton Customer Contact Centre at 905-546-CITY (2489).

Don't approach wildlife and keep dog and cat food inside overnight to avoid attracting raccoons. By law in Ontario, pet owners must have their dogs and cats immunized against rabies.

The bait drop program is one of the most successful rabies eradication programs in North America. The vaccine helps keep raccoons in the province free of rabies.

The flavoured baits immunize most skunks, foxes and raccoons that eat them. Baits are small and khaki green, with a toll-free rabies hotline number stamped on them. If you see baits, please do not disturb them.

Quick Facts

  • There were only 18 cases of rabies diagnosed in Ontario in 2014. All of these cases occurred in bats.
  • Ontario has reduced the number of rabies cases in the province by more than 99 per cent since rabies control programs began over 20 years ago.
  • Exposure to a bait is not harmful to people or pets. However, if a person or a pet comes in contact with the vaccine in the bait, contacting a doctor or veterinarian as a precaution is recommended.

Additional Resources

Media Contacts

  • Beverly Stevenson

    Wildlife Research & Monitoring Section


  • Media Desk

    Communications Services Branch




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