The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services will be distributing oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits in portions of east Tennessee to vaccinate raccoons and prevent the spread of rabies in the state.
Residents of Bradley, Carter, Cocke, Greene, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hawkins, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Polk, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties will see low-flying fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft and also slow moving vehicles distributing rabies vaccine by air and ground from Sept. 29–Oct. 17.
ORV baits are small white plastic packets that are coated in fishmeal crumbles or inserted into a fishmeal block and placed in suitable raccoon habitat. ORV baits should be left alone whenever possible. However, if found where children or pets play, they should be moved into a fencerow, woodlot, ditch or other raccoon habitat with a gloved hand. Damaged baits should be bagged and disposed of in the trash. Be sure to wash hands thoroughly after skin contact with any ORV bait.
Officials said, "ORV baits are not harmful to your pets, although eating too many may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Do not risk getting bitten by taking bait away from your pet. Instead, confine your pet and check and remove any additional bait found in the area. If your pet does eat a bait you should avoid your pet’s saliva for 24 hours and wash any skin that may have been licked."
If you have additional questions about ORV or find ORV bait, call 866 487-3297 for additional information.