Vermont's Annual Rabies Bait Drop To Begin Thursday

BURLINGTON, Vt. (AP) — The 25th annual rabies bait drop is getting underway across much of Vermont, officials said Monday.

Beginning on Thursday, technicians will begin distributing 450,000 quarter-sized blister packs containing rabies vaccine that will be distributed in nearly 100 Vermont communities across nine counties.

The vaccine is attractive to raccoons and skunks.

In some areas the vaccine will be dropped from low-flying aircraft. In residential areas, the vaccine will be placed by hand.

The bait packs are not poisonous and are not harmful to people, pets or wildlife.

“You can’t get rabies from the bait,” said Vermont Public Health Veterinarian Natalie Kwit, “but it’s important that if you find a bait pack, don’t touch it and please leave it undisturbed so that they can be eaten by wild animals.”

Rabies is a deadly viral disease most often seen in raccoons, skunks, foxes and bats, but unvaccinated pets and livestock can also get rabies.

The virus is spread primarily through the bite of an infected animal. The disease is almost always fatal in humans and animals. However, treatment is 100% effective when given soon after a person is bitten by a rabid animal.