Animal Services Dept. launches Phase 4 of proactive wildlife rabies vaccinations

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Miami-Dade County Animal Services Department (Animal Services) recently undertook the deployment of Phase 4 of the countywide Wildlife Rabies Vaccination Distribution intended to boost immunity against rabies in wildlife. The vaccine distribution was scheduled through the month of November.

Animal Services staff placed approximately 270,000 edible vaccines around dumpsters, lakes and waterways — in both rural and inhabited areas — to attract wildlife such as raccoons, foxes and coyotes. The vaccine has been proven safe and effective and not dangerous for people or pets.

Animal Services reminds the public that if vaccine packets are found, it is best to leave them alone. Otherwise, it is recommended to wear gloves or use another protective covering, such as paper or a plastic bag, before handling. Uneaten packets can be tossed into a wooded area where a raccoon or fox will be more likely to find them. Baits that have been broken open can be placed in the regular trash. Thorough hand washing with soap and water after any contact with a vaccine packet is recommended.

The rabies vaccine bait packets, called Raboral V-RG, are specifically designed for wildlife consumption. They are coated with a fishmeal attractant that is appetizing for wildlife such as raccoons, foxes and coyotes, and it is packaged in a two-inch plastic package (sachet) that resembles a common ketchup packet. Wildlife puncture the package and consume the liquid vaccine.

The county’s Wildlife Rabies Vaccine Distribution Plan is a three-year, six-phase plan developed by the Animal Services Department together with the Florida Department of Health, as well as input from Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

For more information about the rabies vaccines, visit the rabies page on the Animal Services Department website or watch the video at
www.youtube.com/watch?v=_ab-A2UGp38.

For questions about human health, call the Department of Health in Miami-Dade County Epidemiology, Disease Control & Immunization Services at 305-470-5660.


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