Quebec nixes raccoon rabies vaccine bait operation due to 'improved' situation
A raccoon is seen in this file photo.
The spread of raccoon rabies in Quebec and surrounding regions has declined significantly, according to authorities, meaning Quebec won't carry out a vaccine bait operation in 2022.
These operations consist of baiting raccoons and other wild animals with ingestible vaccines disguised as food.
It's the second year in a row the province has paused its baiting program, as the situation has "improved significantly in recent years," a press release states.
However, Quebec will continue to closely monitor the Montérégie and Eastern Townships regions for rabies due to their proximity to cases detected in the U.S. each year.
"Enhanced surveillance operations, maintained in 2022, are an effective and sufficient measure in the continuation of the fight against raccoon rabies in Quebec," the release reads.
The province is encouraging anyone who comes across raccoons, skunks, and foxes that are deceased, disoriented or aggressive to call 1-877-346-6763 or complete the online form.
"A call for vigilance is issued to the entire population, particularly those working in the transport and unloading of goods from other provinces or countries, to report any wild animals found in a vehicle."
Rabies affects all mammals, meaning it can be transmitted to humans. Anyone who has been bitten or scratched by an animal, or has come in contact with its saliva, is advised to wash the wound with soap and water for at least 10 minutes and call Info-Sante (811).
In partnership with neighbouring regions in the U.S. and Canada, Quebec has been fighting raccoon rabies since 2006 when the first case was detected in the province.