December 7, 2018 11:54 am

Rabies vaccine baits being dropped in Waterloo region

An EC130 helicopter will be dropping off the baits on Monday and Tuesday.

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Teams from the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) will be dropping rabies vaccine baits in Waterloo region early next week.

The baits will be done by ground crews in urban areas around the village of Ayr, while an EC130 helicopter will also be dropping off the baits on Monday and Tuesday, weather permitting.

READ MORE: Skunk tests positive for racoon rabies in Waterloo region

Ministry staff will be flying in a yellow EC130 helicopter at low altitude (~150 m above ground) over rural areas.

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The actions are in response to the recent discovery of a skunk in the area afflicted with racoon rabies.

The rabies was connected to a strain first discovered in Hamilton in 2015.

READ MORE: Hamilton raccoon rabies epidemic could take 5 years to end

The baits are khaki green, coated with a vanilla sugar attractant.

“When eaten by raccoons, skunks and foxes they become vaccinated against rabies,” a spokesperson from the ministry said via email.

The MNRF website says that “exposure to the bait is not harmful to people or pets,” although it does recommend consulting a physician or veterinarian in the event that contact is made with one of the packets.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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