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The Ministry’s Actions on the Raccoon Rabies Spike in Ontario

This summer, the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will spread more than 1.2 million rabies bait vaccines throughout the Hamilton area. In 2016, a peak of nearly 200 cases was reported in Hamilton; since then, the numbers have steadily dropped and now the MNRF believes there’s an opportunity to deliver a final punch to the virus. Professional raccoon removal services are important without question. Because of the increased risk of rabies don’t hesitate to pick up the phone and contact a professional wildlife specialist if you spot raccoons on your property. Here is everything you need to know about this plan:

  • The data
  • The strategy
  • How to tell if a raccoon is rabid

Raccoons are nocturnal, seeing them during the daytime could be danger

The Data

The MNRF is scheduled to set up hundreds of traps in Hamilton and Burlington for raccoons and skunks. The animals will be released into the wild after they are vaccinated. This year, three skunks and ten raccoons have tested positive for raccoon rabies. Last year there were 48 raccoons and 23 skunks, and in 2016 – the peak year – the numbers were 123 raccoons, 72 skunks, and one fox.

The Strategy

It was decided that a helicopter and an airplane would carpet bomb the region with 220,000 vaccines. That supply will come from a bait bank in Guelph, Ontario, where the government has stockpiled over 650,000 vaccines in a freezer facility belonging to Artemis Technologies Inc., the maker of the rabies baits used in Canada. Canada also has a tool it developed itself, a rabies vaccine discovered at McMaster University called ONRAB. Before ONRAB, the government felt its only option to control the problem was by euthanizing the raccoons.

They may look cute, but raccoons are wild animals.

How To Identify A Rabid Raccoon

Being aware of the signs of rabies in a raccoon is crucial for maintaining the safety for yourself, your family and pets. Encountering a raccoon on your property is something that should set off an alarm right away and you need to focus on analyzing the animal. The first thing is to pay attention to the general appearance of the animal. If it is in a state of distress, it may have rabies. Similarly, a rabid raccoon will often look disoriented or confused and will move slowly. It may even look slightly paralyzed and walk in circles. The noises it will typically produce will differ from the usual raccoon chatter. The last and most obvious thing to remember is that seeing the animal foaming at the mouth is a definitive sign that it has rabies and that you need to back off immediately and call for professional help.

Have A Problem With Rabid Raccoons? Contact Skedaddle Right Away

Encountering a rabid raccoon – or a raccoon altogether – on your property is never a pleasant sight. While they may look cute and cuddly, they can cause tons of damage in addition to the fact that they are rabies carriers. Spotting one or more of these animals on your property is a sure sign that you need professional help. Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control is the company to contact when it comes to expert raccoon removal. Skedaddle has been in business for almost three decades and has plenty of experience helping homeowners remove all sorts of wildlife invaders. Remember, do not try to remove raccoons from your property yourself, especially if you suspect they may be rabid. Call Skedaddle instead and let the professionals take care of them.

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About the author:Founder of Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control in 1989. Canada's largest urban wildlife removal and exclusion company. Industry leader and pioneer. Split, Scram, Scoot! However you want to say it, Skedaddle Humane Wildlife Control has helped over 200,000 home owners and businesses safely and effectively resolve their wildlife issues. Happy to discuss business and franchising opportunities

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