FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will expand its rabies control measures in western New Brunswick this summer, with oral rabies vaccine bait distribution occurring in more areas.

“As the raccoon-variant rabies moves farther north along the New Brunswick border, we are extending our vaccine baiting area into parts of York and Carleton counties this year to help control the possible spread of this life-threatening disease,” said Agriculture, Aquaculture and Fisheries Minister Rick Doucet. “Oral vaccination remains the most efficient prevention method for wildlife, in terms of cost and effectiveness.”

The wildlife rabies control program involves the distribution of oral rabies vaccine bait that has proven effective in vaccinating raccoons, skunks and foxes. In August and September of 2015, an aerial and hand-baiting program led to the distribution of more than 200,000 oral vaccines in the Charlotte County area.

This year, the oral rabies vaccine bait will be distributed in parts of York and Carleton counties as well. While there have been no reported cases of rabies in Carleton County and only one in York County in 2016, the provincial government is taking this proactive measure to limit any further spread of the disease. The bait is not harmful to humans, domestic pets, livestock or the environment.

“The oral baiting program is helpful to control the spread of rabies, but we still encourage New Brunswickers to continue to take precautions to avoid coming into contact with this life-threatening disease,” said Doucet.

New Brunswickers should:

  • keep a safe distance from wildlife;
  • teach children to respect wild and domestic animals, to avoid bites and scratches;
  • ensure pets’ and domestic animals’ vaccinations are up to date;
  • keep garbage and compost bins secure;
  • avoid leaving pet food outside; and
  • refrain from relocating wildlife.

More information on rabies, including a surveillance map of confirmed cases, is available online.