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Annual Aerial Rabies Bait Drop

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Annual Aerial Rabies Bait Drop

Province Committed to Eliminating the Threat of Rabies in Ontario’s Wildlife

Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry

The Government of Ontario continues its efforts to keep Ontarians safe from rabies in the province with its annual aerial bait drop. From August to October, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry will distribute rabies vaccine baits for wildlife by aircraft in rural areas and by hand in urban areas throughout Southern, Southwest and Eastern Ontario.

Between September 28 and October 4, 2019, the ministry will distribute baits in Bruce, Dufferin, Grey, Huron, Middlesex, Perth, Waterloo and Wellington Counties. These dates are subject to change depending on weather conditions.

Since the start of the rabies outbreak in 2015, the first of its kind in over a decade, the ministry has taken quick action to protect communities, distributing over 4 million vaccine baits from air and the ground; helping to immunize most raccoons, skunks and foxes that eat them. Today, Ontario's bait drop program is one of the most successful rabies control programs in North America.

The khaki-green coloured bait is made of wax-fat with an attractant flavour (vanilla-sugar). 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.

For further information about rabies in Ontario, please visit Ontario.ca/rabies or contact MNRF's rabies information line at 1-888-574-6656.

Quick Facts

  • The ministry will conduct localized rapid response baiting measures in the event of a raccoon or fox strain rabies case outside of the planned baiting area.
  • It is not harmful to a pet or person if a bait is consumed by mistake. However, contacting a doctor or veterinarian as a precaution is recommended.
  • Since 2016, rabies cases have declined in Ontario by approximately 50% each year.
  • If a person contracts rabies and does not receive treatment, the disease is fatal.
  • Ontario is committed to the research, surveillance, control and elimination of rabies. The province’s rabies control program is developed in partnership with provincial ministries, federal agencies, regional health units, municipalities, wildlife rehabilitators, licensed trappers, wildlife control agents and Indigenous communities, which are all key to its continued success.

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