Rabies vaccination targets raccoons in Maine

Raccoons have the highest number of rabies cases in the eastern United States. ©Bob Hall

USDA Wildlife Services is spreading more than 300,000 rabies vaccine baits in Maine in an effort to address the spread of rabies in raccoons (Procyon lotor). The bait will be spread over a 2,405-square-mile area in northeast Maine by land and air drops as part of an ongoing effort to reduce rabies in the region. While it is targeted at raccoons, which have the highest number of rabies cases in the region, the vaccine is also effective in other species, including foxes and coyotes.

“Rabies elimination is a long-term goal that will include current and novel strategies, but will require sustainable resources in order to succeed,” USDA spokeswoman Tanya Espinosa told The Times Record. “We just now have spent 8 years field testing a vaccine that will give us the tool to pursue elimination, but it will take additional resources to aggressively move toward elimination.”

Read more from The Times Record here.