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Weeklong rabies bait drop begins in Vermont

Published: Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:26 AM EDT|Updated: Aug. 5, 2021 at 8:27 AM EDT
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BURLINGTON, Vt. (WCAX) - A weeklong bait drop to stop rabies among wild animals begins Thursday in Vermont.

It’s the 25th year Vermont wildlife experts have teamed up with the USDA.

A low-flying aircraft will go over rural parts of Vermont dropping the rabies vaccine. It’s a bait that is sweet-smelling and attractive to raccoons and skunks.

About 450,000 quarter-size packs will be dropped in nearly 100 Vermont communities.

WCAX News talked with the USDA to find out what you should do if you find one when you’re outside.

“We try to be as careful as we can in our bait placement. But you know, it depends on wind drift and airplane speed, accuracy of the navigator in front of the plane. But what we suggest is that people don’t handle them with their bare hands, use a glove or some sort of shovel and simply place them back in the woods where our target species can intersect them and take them,” said Owen Montgomery, a wildlife biologist with the USDA.

Montgomery says there have only been 10 cases of rabies this year in the state of Vermont. He says they were mainly in the southern part of the state.

Watch the video above to see our entire interview with Montgomery.

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