Annual rabies bait drops underway

BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) Vermont and the U.S. Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services are teaming up again for the annual Rabies Bait Drop.

The week-long bait drop started Wednesday and is part of a nationally coordinated effort to stop the fatal disease.

The rabies vaccine comes in the form of a sweet-smelling oral bait that is attractive to raccoons and skunks. It will be dropped in rural areas by low-flying aircraft and placed by hand in residential centers.

About 450,000 of these quarter-sized blister packs will be distributed in over 110 Vermont communities in nine counties.

While these bait packs are not poisonous, health officials ask that anyone who finds the bait to leave it undisturbed.

“The rabies bait packs are not harmful to adults, children, pets or wildlife, and you can’t get rabies from the bait,” said Dr. Natalie Kwit, a Vermont public health veterinarian.

If your pet eats a bait or if a child brings one home, let officials know by calling the Vermont Rabies Hotline at 1-800-4-RABIES (1-800-472-2437).