LOWVILLE, NY — Lewis County Public Health has been notified by the New York State Department of Health that a rabies bait drop will occur in several Lewis County townships beginning August 15th. The United States Department of Agriculture, Wildlife Services (USDA-WS) will be distributing oral rabies vaccination (ORV) baits to target raccoons, foxes, and coyotes to help stop further spread of rabies. The baits will be dropped from low-flying, fixed-wing airplanes over the Black River Valley.
ORV baits are about the size of a single-serving condiment packet and are coated with a sticky, fishmeal flavoring to attract raccoons and other wildlife. It is recommended that anyone who finds a bait leave it alone, or if it is intact and out in the open, they can toss it deeper into the woods or brush where a wild animal is more likely to find it. People should wear gloves or use a towel if it is necessary to handle baits, and wash their hands afterward. Pet owners should not attempt to take baits away from their pets, as they may be bitten in the process and exposed to the vaccine. Although baits are not harmful to pets, ingestion of a large number of baits may cause temporary stomach upset. Anyone who comes in contact with the liquid vaccine contained within the bait should wash their hands immediately and contact Lewis County Public Health at 315-376-5453 for further guidance.