Red foxes (Vulpes vulpes) are the main reservoir of rabies in Slovenia, whereas cases of rabies in other wildlife species occur sporadically. In 1995, a program of oral vaccination of wildlife in Slovenia was initiated; baits with oral vaccine were distributed by air at a density of 20 baits/km2. During 1995, when the oral vaccination program was started, 1,089 cases of rabies (including both wild and domestic animals) were reported. Five years later (1999), only six positive animals were detected among 1,195 tested (0.5%). Despite an increase in bait density (25 baits/km2) during the years 2000 and 2001, reported rabies cases increased to 115 and 135, respectively. In 2003, following initiation of a new bait-dropping strategy, which incorporated perpendicular rather than parallel flight lines, the number of rabies cases decreased to eight.
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Vol. 42 • No. 2