Proactive and reactive tactics have been utilized in Ontario, Canada, to prevent raccoon rabies from becoming established. A total of 96,621 raccoons (Procyon lotor) and 7,967 striped skunks (Mephitis mephitis) were live captured using 1,221,044 trap nights, vaccinated against rabies by injection, and released, during proactive Trap-Vaccinate-Release (TVR) programs in southern Ontario during 1994–2007. During those years, on average, 43% to 83% of the raccoon populations were vaccinated against rabies. In addition, 20,129 raccoons and 2,735 skunks were vaccinated against rabies, and 8,311 raccoons and 1,449 skunks were euthanized, using 576,359 trap nights, during reactive Point Infection Control (PIC) operations in eastern Ontario during 1999–2005. A significant correlation was detected between trapping effort and the percentage of the raccoon population that was vaccinated. Between 1999 and 2007, 132 cases of raccoon variant rabies (130 raccoons, two striped skunks) were reported in eastern Ontario. The last case occurred on 23 September 2005 with Ontario being free of reported raccoon rabies to 10 November 2008, proving that TVR and PIC are effective tactics for the control of this disease.
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Vol. 45 • No. 3