Raccoon Rabies Vaccination Baiting 2022

July 25 – August 31, 2022 

Over the past 20 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 25th through August 31st in every municipality of the County.

 

The baits will be delivered both by hand from ground vehicles and by aircraft, including helicopter and fixed wing airplanes.  The aircraft will be flying low over residential areas and at times, residents may see aircraft moving slowly over the same area repeatedly within a short period of time.  Hand baiting will occur from August 1st through August 5th.

 

Below are images of the types of bait:  One is a plastic sachet (looks like a ketchup packet) coated in fish meal or vanilla.  The other is a plastic sachet enclosed in a fish meal block.  The 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 is 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.  The public is also being asked to KEEP PETS ON A LEASH, INDOORS, OR CONFINED TO THEIR PROPERTY AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE DURING BAITING AND THE WEEK AFTER.  In years past, there have specifically been problems with off-leash dogs consuming the baits in parks.  Parks are common raccoon habitats and are therefore important areas to bait.

 

The ACHD has made the following items available to help inform the public of the program details:

Public Notice Regarding the Oral Rabies Vaccination Program

Rabies Information Pamphlet

 

For additional information regarding the Oral Rabies Baiting Program, you may visit www.alleghenycounty.us/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