Rabies is no laughing matter, and if you or your pet or even someone close to you has ever been afflicted with the disease this is a fact of which you are likely very aware. It has gripped many pet owners with fear as they worry about their animal companions being afflicted with the deadly ailment. Additionally, human cases have many concerned about their own health and that of their loved ones. Since raccoons have been associated with rabies transmissions, quick and safe removal of these animals is a big reason why Skedaddle in Milwaukee takes these situations seriously.
The US’ Rabies Eradication Efforts
For the last couple of decades, an intense rabies eradication thrust has been underway in the US. This effort has as its target, the vision of having all raccoons being rabies-free by 2053. The effort to eradicate rabies includes a very robust public education campaign. This campaign is designed to inform citizens about the disease and encourage them to do all that is in their power to prevent it. This means getting their pets vaccinated against rabies. If pets are vaccinated then when they come into contact with raid wildlife animals, they will be safe from the diseases; which means that they won’t end up suffering the fatal consequences of rabies or passing it on to other animals and people.
Since raccoons are carriers of rabies and they are living among people in such great numbers, the rabies eradication team has decided to target them for vaccination. The more raccoons get vaccinated, the lower the chances are of them passing the disease on to other animals. One of the strategies used to get raccoons vaccinated against rabies is to feed them food with the vaccine hidden inside. They have been using blocks of a fish meal with the vaccine strategically hidden inside. When a raccoon bites into one of these meals, the vaccine package is punctured releasing the medicine which is then swallowed by the raccoon.
This effort to vaccinate raccoons through the use of oral medicines has been happening since 1997. The vaccine won’t cure rabies in those raccoons that are already afflicted but it will prevent non-infected raccoons from contracting it.
Raccoons were selected because of all the animals that carry the disease; they are the species that have infiltrated the human space the most. Raccoons are found in abundance in almost every city in North America, including Milwaukee. As a result, they are more likely to come into contact with pets and people than other wildlife citizens who may also be rabies carriers. The fact that they’ve adapted so well to city life means that these raccoons are bolder and therefore more likely to come into contact with people and their pets and it is this contact that causes the spread of rabies. An additional reason for targeting raccoons is the fact that they have also been found by experts to be one of the top species found with rabies
Speed Bumps Along the Way
Some of the hiccups faced along the way include actually getting the vaccine baits to the raccoons. Experts are dissatisfied with the rate of actual vaccination that is taking place as apparently despite strategic placement, they’re not seeing the number of raccoons they’d like to see getting vaccinated. According to coordinator Linder, they’d like to see 50-80% of the raccoon population in the area vaccinated and that target has not yet been reached.
While experts work to allay rabies fears and threats, residents must play their part. This includes ensuring that pets are vaccinated against the disease and kept away from situations that may lead to transmission. Until the rabies eradication campaign meets its target rabies fears will continue to trigger raccoon removal service requests in Milwaukee.
Read more about The US’ Rabies Eradication Efforts here.