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USDA vaccinating wildlife for rabies | Environment

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USDA vaccinating wildlife for rabies
Environment, Health, News
USDA vaccinating wildlife for rabies

Over the next the two weeks, by land and air, federal teams will work to vaccinate wildlife up and down the east coast.

The US Department of Agriculture Wildlife Services has the goal to create an immune barrier to halt the spread of "raccoon variant rabies."

The Oral Rabies Vaccination Project goes through East Tennessee and includes McMinn, Hawkins, Greene, Hamblen, Cocke, and Monroe counties.

In its 11 years of existence, the USDA says raccoon variant rabies has decreased. Five years ago there were 43 cases of it in East Tennessee. This year there's been one case.

A truck full of the oral vaccines arrived in Greeneville Tuesday. The Tennessee team organized and counted them to be distributed by truck and plane.

The vaccines are stuffed inside fishmeal covered bait that is attractive to raccoons.

"They swallow it and then their bodies produce an anti body response just like if they got a shot at the vet," said USDA Wildlife Biologist, Erin Patrick.

The USDA tries to avoid people's lawns when spreading the vaccine. But they say if there is a piece in your yard, use gloves to move it to a wooded area.

They are safe for your pets to eat.

If you have any questions, call the Wildlife Services at 866-487-3297.

Environment, Health, News

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