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Wednesday, 06 October 2010 20:36

Rabies vaccine kibbles to be scattered by air

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Raccoons across WNC may stumble upon unexpected tasty treats this week: fish-flavored morsels containing an oral rabies vaccine.

More than 700,000 baits will be scattered over the mountains of North Carolina, Tennessee and Virginia by fixed-wing aircraft this week, and another 120,000 by hand.

The oral rabies vaccinations are coated with a fishmeal flavoring and come in one-inch square cubes or two-inch plastic sachets. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from contact with the baits, but are asked to leave them undisturbed should they encounter them. 

The mountains are part of a vaccination zone to prevent the westward and northward spread of rabies. Geographic features such as large lakes and rivers as well as the Appalachian Mountains act as natural barriers to rabies’ spread.

The oral vaccine has been shown to be safe in more than 60 different species of animals, including domestic dogs and cats. Dogs that consume large numbers of baits may experience an upset stomach, but there are no long-term health risks. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service is in charge of the effort.

Raccoon rabies is found in virtually every county in North Carolina, and raccoon-variant rabies is responsible for the majority of rabies cases in domestic and wild animals throughout North Carolina. There have been 164 confirmed cases so far this year.

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This Must Be the Place

  • This must be the place

    art theplaceMary Harper was quite possibly the first real friend I made when I moved to Western North Carolina.

    With my apartment a few blocks away from the Water’n Hole Bar & Grill in Waynesville, I ventured down there at night trying to see what was up in this town, trying to make some friends, and trying not to feel alone and isolated in a new place where I was unknown to all who surrounded me. Harper, with her million-dollar smile and swagger, immediately made me feel at home. 

    Written on Wednesday, 23 April 2014 00:00 Read more...