Rabies is a virus that affects warm-blooded animals, including wildlife, pets, and humans. Without prompt treatment, rabies is almost always fatal in unvaccinated pets and humans. The goal of the USDA Wildlife Services’ National Rabies Management Program is to prevent the spread of rabies in terrestrial wildlife by containing and eliminating the virus. You can help that effort.
USDA Wildlife Biologists and Technicians will be live trapping and sampling raccoons and skunks again during the summer and fall of 2017 to monitor a vaccine distribution effort. We are again looking to notify residents of cage traps (see photo) placed on Colchester owned properties for approximately 10-14 days during early October. October trapping efforts will begin 10/4 and run 10 days concurrent. Traps will be checked daily and all raccoons, skunks, foxes, bobcats and coyotes will be immobilized, biological samples collected, ear tagged and released at the point of capture as long as they appear to be healthy. A select number of animals were fitted with telemetry equipment in July to allow us to study their ecology in urban environments. Any free-ranging domestic animals captured during the study will be safely released. During the 2016 field trials, WS captured and sampled 412 raccoons, 68 skunks, 6 fox and radio collared 43 animals in the Greater Burlington study areas.
The program works cooperatively with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and multiple federal, state, and local agencies and organizations to distribute oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits for raccoons in the eastern U.S.
Your participation in this program is critical to its success. Residents living within the study area will have received additional information and a trapping permission slip through the mail. If you have any additional questions, please call our office at 1-800-472-2437 or 802-223-8690.