FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government will undertake rabies prevention and control measures this summer in Fredericton, Saint John and other communities in western and southern New Brunswick.

“Vaccine baits, contained in small capsules, will be distributed by hand in areas frequented by raccoons and skunks,” said Dr. Jim Goltz, manager of the veterinary laboratory and pathology services. “The bait vaccinates wildlife when ingested. This is the most effective way to prevent the spread of rabies in wildlife, and help prevent the spread of this life-threatening disease.”

Distribution of oral rabies vaccine bait will begin in July. Hand distribution of vaccine bait is scheduled to take place July 9-20 in Fredericton and Saint Mary’s First Nation; July 23-27 in Saint John; and July 30-Aug. 10 in Woodstock, Woodstock First Nation, McAdam, Harvey, St. Stephen, Saint Andrews, St. George, Blacks Harbour, Deer Island, Campobello Island and Grand Bay-Westfield.

The vaccine bait will be distributed in green spaces, parks, hedges and wooded areas. The bait is not harmful to humans, domestic pets, livestock or the environment. However, the public is advised to keep pets under close surveillance during the campaign to ensure they do not ingest the bait intended for wildlife.

More than 400,000 vaccine baits were distributed in southern New Brunswick by air and by hand in 2017. This year, aerial distribution will take place in mid-August.

Members of the public are encouraged to continue to take precautions to avoid coming into contact with the disease. They should:

  • keep a safe distance from wildlife;

  • teach children to prevent animal bites by avoiding contact with wildlife and unfamiliar domestic animals;

  • ensure the rabies vaccinations of pets and domestic animals are up to date;

  • discourage wildlife from visiting their property by keeping garbage and compost bins secure;

  • avoid leaving pet food outside;

  • refrain from relocating wildlife; and

  • report animals with rabies-like clinical signs to 811.

Persons bitten or scratched by an animal that might have rabies should wash the wound thoroughly with soap and warm water and seek immediate medical attention. Domestic animals that have come in contact with an animal that might be rabid should be immediately taken to a veterinarian.  More information on rabies, including a surveillance map of confirmed cases, is available online at