Legislator Bosworth Announces Continuation of Rabies Baiting Program
By Truck Aug. 31—Sept. 18 and By Helicopter Sept. 8—18th
Nassau County Legislator Judi Bosworth (D-Great Neck) would like all her constituents to mark their calendar and be prepared for the truck and aerial distribution of the rabies vaccine. It will be distributed by trucks and helicopter, in raccoon habitats: woods, bushes, streambeds, sewers and other areas. The bait, attractive to raccoons, is a small packet of liquid vaccine which is inside a brown fishmeal cube. Truck distribution will be from August 31st through September 18th, weather permitting. Helicopter distribution will commence on September 8-18th, or thereafter, weather permitting.
Legislator Bosworth said, “The Nassau County Department of Health is continuing the effort to eradicate raccoon rabies in cooperation with the State Department of Health, Cornell University and the United States Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services. The agencies are once again distributing the raccoon rabies vaccine to protect residents from rabies It is important that our residents have sufficient notice of this program so they can prepare properly.
The distribution area will cover the entire northern portion of Nassau County from the Queens to Suffolk borders. West of Herricks Road the southern border for baiting is the LIRR Main Line; east of Herricks Road the southern border for baiting is Old Country Road.
Important Safety Tips to Follow during the Baiting Program
To avoid inadvertent contact with the baits, supervise children’s outdoor activities both during and for approximately one week following the bait distribution. Keep all dogs and cats indoors or on leashes during the oral bait distribution and for about one week afterwards. This will allow raccoons to eat the vaccine-laden baits and become immunized and will decrease the chance of pets eating the baits. The baits are not harmful to dogs or cats, but a pet may vomit if they eat a large number of them. Do not try to remove a packet from an animal’s mouth. If you have direct contact with the bait, call the Poison Control Center at 1-800-222-1222. Call immediately in the unlikely event that a child bites through the packet and ingests the liquid. Wash hands immediately before calling to report the exposure if anyone comes in bare-hand contact with the bait (even if it is intact.). Call if you have seen your pet with bait in its mouth. Remember that it is not possible to get rabies from the vaccine. If residents find bait near their homes, but not in the open, leave it alone. The bait packets have a strong fishmeal smell that is not attractive to people or to most other animals. (There is a label that clearly identifies the bait packet: “Rabies Vaccine Live Vaccinia Vector. Do Not Disturb, Merial, Inc Us Vet Lic. No. 298 1-877-722-6725.”) If the bait is intact and out in the open where pets or children are more likely to encounter it, toss it into deeper cover under trees or bushes while wearing gloves or using a plastic bag.