The Anne Arundel County Department of Health will conduct the annual Raccoon Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) project, beginning Thursday, August 26. Baits will be placed throughout Anne Arundel County to vaccinate raccoons against rabies. The project should be completed by the end of September, weather permitting.
The baits contain liquid rabies vaccine and will be placed in neighborhoods by ground teams of trained Department of Health staff. Teams will wear shirts with Department of Health logos and travel in marked county vehicles. Baits will be dropped from a low-flying county police helicopter in less populated areas.
The baits come in two types. One looks like a ketchup packet with a light brown waxy coating. The other looks like a small brown brick, is approximately 0.75 inches thick by 1.25 inches square, and has a plastic packet inside. In both types of bait, the vaccine is contained within the packet.
Anyone who comes in contact with the bait or has a pet that finds the bait should call 410-222-7192 weekdays and 443-481-3140 evenings and weekends.
The vaccine immunizes raccoons when the animal bites into the vaccine packet. It cannot cause rabies and is not harmful to raccoons, pets or other animals. The vaccine also has a low human health risk. However, it is advised that the following individuals avoid handling the bait:
The Department of Health recommends that pet owners keep their pets confined or on a leash during the baiting period and for two weeks thereafter. If your pet finds a bait, carefully remove the bait from your pet’s mouth.
For more information about the ORV project, which has been implemented in Anne Arundel County since 1998, visit www.aahealth.org/orv.
The ORV Project receives support from the Office of the County Executive, the Anne Arundel County Police Department and the U.S. Department of Agriculture – Wildlife Services.
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