Erie County Legislature Majority Leader Joseph Lorigo reminds residents that rabies baits were dropped throughout Erie County the past few weeks. Held in conjunction with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, NYS Department of Health, and Cornell University Animal Health Diagnostic Center, the Erie County Health Department recently conducted the Oral Rabies Vaccination program to protect residents and pets from the threat of rabies.
“This program was held in all sections of Erie County, leaving some residents with questions. I know many residents noticed low flying helicopters and airplanes, and wondered what was going on. Others have found baits on their property and were unsure how to handle them. The program has been used for many years and is designed to vaccinate raccoons, skunks, foxes and coyotes to aid in the prevention of rabies spreading in our community. The baits are not dangerous but need to be treated with caution,” said Majority Leader Lorigo.
The Health Department’s recommendations to anyone who finds a bait are as follows:
- Do not disturb baits, unless absolutely necessary, they will be eaten or gone within 4-7 days
- If you must move the baits, safely remove the bait by wearing gloves or use a plastic bag
- Toss intact baits in a wooded area or other wildlife animal habitat
- Bag and dispose of any damaged baits in the trash
- Immediately wash hands/skin that may have come in contact with the bait with soap and water
The Health Department also reminds residents that if their pet eats a bait, not to panic. According to the Health Department, a few baits are not harmful. Eating a large number can cause an upset stomach. The Department also warns to avoid pet’s saliva for 24 hours after they eat a bait, and to wash skin/wounds that may have been licked.
The Health Department has information on its website at www.erie.gov/health. Residents can also call the New York State Department of Health Rabies Information Line at 1-888-574-6656.
For additional information, please call Majority Leader Lorigo at 858-8922 or e-mail, firstname.lastname@example.org.