A recent article in the Hamilton Spectator reveals the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s plan to test the efficacy of the rabies vaccine. More than 800,000 baits containing the rabies vaccine have been dropped in and around Hamilton since the rabies outbreak in December 2015. In early May the rabies count in Hamilton reached 100 (62 raccoons, 38 skunks). 8 other cases were reported in surrounding areas making the overall count in Ontario 108. The tally has increased since then to a total of 121 cases in Ontario since December 2015, 5 of which have been since June 1st.
Last Sunday the Ministry began trapping raccoons and skunks in Hamilton and surrounding areas. 400 animals are to be trapped for blood collection and then released back to same location they were captured from. Blood samples will be tested for rabies antibodies which will indicate to officials whether the animal was exposed to the vaccine or not. Results will dictate if adjustments to the baiting program are warranted. Baiting will continue until the end of June and resume again in August and September to target animals born in the spring. Traps and baits will contain information notices for people who come across them.
Below are a couple recent articles from the Hamilton Spectator: