Rabies vaccine baits to be dropped around Toronto this summer

Rabies-vaccine showers are in the forecast for Toronto; the province will be trying to eliminate raccoon rabies by serving the animals vanilla-scented bait, distributed by helicopter.The vaccines are also being spread by employees on foot. Beverly Stevenson, a science transfer specialist at the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry, said workers began distributing the bait last Monday.“The vaccines are very effective,” said Stevenson, who added that there were half as many rabies cases in the first six months of this year compared to 2016, as a result of the vaccines distributed last year.Toronto has not had any confirmed cases of rabid raccoons so far this year, but averages one or two infected bats annually.A fight between two Hamilton dogs and an aggressive raccoon in the back of an animal control van in December 2015 led to the discovery of the first documented case of rabies in a raccoon in a decade. Article Continued BelowWhile most of the 90,000 rabies vaccines will be distributed by hand in Toronto, some will be released in August via helicopters flying over the city’s green spaces, including hydro corridors, ravines and parks.The aerial drops will target forested areas.Everything from residential to industrial spaces, cementaries, parks and golf courses will be sprinkled with the khaki green-coloured vaccine bait.