Province gets ready to fight against summer rabies through vaccine

The province will distribute a rabies vaccination in communities across western and southern New Brunswick this summer.

'This is the most effective way to prevent the spread of rabies in wildlife'

The vaccine baits will be distributed by hand in areas frequented by raccoons and skunks. (Pixabay.com)

The province will distribute a rabies vaccination in communities across western and southern New Brunswick this summer.

The vaccine baits, which are contained in small capsules, will be distributed by hand in green spaces, parks, hedges and wooded areas.

The vaccine will be dispersed in areas with a large population of raccoons and skunks, said Jim Goltz, manager of the veterinary laboratory and pathology services.

"The bait vaccinates wildlife when ingested," he said.

"This is the most effective way to prevent the spread of rabies in wildlife, and help prevent the spread of this life-threatening disease."

Thousands of vaccine baits distributed in 2017

The bait is not harmful to humans, domestic pets, livestock or the environment.

However, the province is urging the public to keep an eye on pets during the campaign to ensure their animals don't ingest bait intended for wildlife.

The distribution of rabies vaccines will start in July in Fredericton, Saint Mary's First Nation and Saint John.

Jim Goltz, manager of the veterinary laboratory and pathology services, said the distribution is the most effective way to prevent the spread of rabies in wildlife. (Catherine Harrop/CBC)

Further distribution will take place near the end of the month and into August in the Woodstock area, McAdam, Harvey and St. Stephen.

More than 400,000 vaccine baits were distributed in southern New Brunswick by air and by hand in 2017. This year, aerial distribution will take place in mid-August.

The bait drop began in 2014 when 24 cases were recorded in New Brunswick.