August 7, 2007
Rabies Vaccine Drop Is Scheduled for This Weekend, August 10 -12, 2007
Planes are scheduled to drop thousands of packets of rabies vaccine over remote areas of northern Oswego County this weekend. The project is part of an international program to eradicate rabies from wildlife across northern and western New York and the St. Lawrence River Valley. In Oswego County, areas north of the Salmon River will be treated.
The Oswego County Health Department is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture to distribute over 32,000 bait packages containing rabies vaccine from planes. Areas north of the Salmon River in the towns of Redfield, Orwell, Boylston, Sandy Creek, Richland and Albion will be treated.
The planes will depart from the Ogdensburg Airport. Soft plastic packets, which contain rabies vaccine coated with fishmeal and a wax binder, will be dropped over remote areas.
As in previous years, health department staff will place 1,000 bait packets near dumpsters, streams and wooded areas in the villages of Pulaski, Sandy Creek, and Lacona. The cube-shaped baits are made of fishmeal with a packet of rabies vaccine in the center. Both forms of bait are about two inches long.
“The program has been successful in eliminating raccoon rabies from the St. Lawrence River Valley,” said Kathleen Smith, Public Health Director for Oswego County. “So far this year the health department has confirmed five rabid animals, including one rabid raccoon, in Oswego County. An immunized raccoon population decreases rabies exposure to people and domestic animals.”
Although the vaccine isn't harmful to pets or humans, bait packets shouldn't be disturbed. If your pet eats a bait packet or brings one home, report it to the county Health Department at 349-3564 or 1-800-596-3200, ext. 3564, or the College of Veterinary Medicine at Cornell University, phone 1-888-715-7785.
Other partners in the project include the state Department of Health, Department of Environmental Conservation, Cornell College of Veterinary Medicine, and the Ministry of Natural Resources in Ontario, Canada. The program extends to several other counties in the state, including Lewis, Franklin, Jefferson, St. Lawrence, Clinton, Essex, Niagara, Erie and Chautauqua counties.
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