Watch: World Rabies Day video shares USDA program’s work

Every day biologists and specialists of the USDA’s National Rabies Management Program work to protect the public, wildlife, pets and the nation’s food supply through many different work activities.

These federal employees wanted to highlight their support of World Rabies Day, which occurs on Monday, Sept. 28, by creating a video to share their story. Rather than a standard governmental offering, the team sought to communicate what we do and why — in an informal and homespun way — and invite the public to join us in a united effort to manage rabies.

This year’s 14th World Rabies Day theme focuses on vaccination and collaboration, hallmarks of Wildlife Services’ National Rabies Management Program work.  We coordinate with state and local agencies, from Maine to Alabama, conducting rabies surveillance and distributing over 9 million doses of oral rabies vaccine to create a zone to halt the westward expansion of the raccoon rabies variant.

Oral rabies vaccine is currently being distributed in Massachusetts on the Cape Cod peninsula and in parts of Virginia to Alabama in October.

Rabies remains a significant wildlife management challenge in the U.S. impacting human and animal health. In the U.S. each year, more than 90% of all reported rabies cases occur in wildlife.  Up to 60,000 U.S. residents are exposed to potentially rabid animals each year, with the cost of rabies prevention and control estimated to exceed $600 million a year.

World Rabies Day is sponsored by the Global Alliance for Rabies Control. It is committed to saving lives from one of the world’s deadliest diseases, which kills more than 59,000 people annually.

The National Rabies Management Program was established in 1997 with the goal of managing rabies in wildlife.

Header Image: In recognition of World Rabies Day, the USDA’s National Rabies Management Program employees shared their work combating rabies. Credit: USDA Wildlife Services