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Niagara County oral rabies vaccine drop to get underway

The airdrops are expected to take five days and begin sometime between Monday and August 31, depending on factors such as the weather.

LOCKPORT, N.Y. — In an attempt to vaccinate wild animals such as raccoons from rabies, the Niagara County Department of Environmental Health is letting residents know a vaccine bait drop will be getting underway in the next few weeks.

The bait distribution will be by hand as well as by fixed wing aircraft and helicopter. Hand baiting is expected to get underway the week of August 10 through the rest of the month.

The air drops are expected to take five days and begin sometime between Monday and August 31, depending on factors such as the weather.

“During the baiting period, residents may see and hear low-flying aircraft and observe program staff distributing green packets by hand and car around Niagara Falls neighborhoods,” said Paul Dicky, Niagara County Environmental Health Director. 

The green baits are about the size of a matchbox and are made up of vegetable shortening, wax, icing sugar, vegetable oil and flavoring. Humans and pets cannot get rabies from the baits. If you find one, you're asked to leave it alone unless it is found where children or pets play.

“Immunization of wildlife will help to reduce the number of rabies cases and prevent the continued spread of this fatal virus", said Niagara County Health Director Daniel Stapleton.  "Members of the community can help by monitoring their children and pets, and by keeping pets up to date with rabies vaccinations,” he advised.  

If you have any questions about the program, contact the county's Environmental Health Division at (716) 439-7444. More information can also be found here.