Raccoon Rabies Vaccination Baiting 2020
July 31 – September 10, 2020
Over the past 19 years, there has been a significant reduction in human and pet exposures to rabies throughout Allegheny County. This is largely due to the efforts of the rabies vaccination program for wild raccoons. This program is spearheaded by the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services (USDA), who the Allegheny County Health Dept. (ACHD) partners with for this massive effort. This year, employees and volunteers of ACHD and the UDSA will be distributing vaccine-containing baits from July 31st through September 10th in every municipality of the County. Richland Township will be baited by hand and from vehicles between July 31st and August 10th.
Below are images of the two types of bait: One is a plastic sachet (looks like a ketchup packet) coated in fish meal. The other is a plastic sachet enclosed in a fish meal block. The fish scent attracts the raccoons who consume the bait and vaccine, resulting in the development of antibodies to the rabies virus.
The risk of adverse effects to humans and animals due to exposure to the vaccine in minimal, but the public is urged to avoid contact with the bait if possible. If a stray bait must be moved, it should be picked up using rubber or latex gloves or a shovel. KEEP PETS ON A LEASH, INDOORS, OR CONFINED TO THEIR PROPERTY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE DURING BAITING AND THE WEEK AFTER.
The ACHD has made the following items available to help inform the public of the program details:
For additional information regarding the Oral Rabies Baiting Program, you may visit http://www.achd.net/raccoon, or contact one of the following phone numbers:
USDA Wildlife Services: 1-866-487-3297
Pennsylvania Dept. of Health Information Line: 1-877-PA Health
Allegheny County Department of Health: 1-412-350-4046