Oral Rabies Vaccination Underway

Program in Pennsylvania could protect cats from contracting rabies from wildlife.

Posted: August 22, 2011, 3 a.m. EDT

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Orange tabby cat
Curbing rabies in wild animal populations could help domestic cats avoid the disease.
An oral rabies vaccination program, which helps control the spread of rabies in wild animals, is now in effect for eight Pennsylvania counties.

Parts of Allegheny, Beaver, Crawford, Erie, Greene, Lawrence, Mercer and Washington counties will receive rabies vaccination baits coated with a fishmeal attractant in 1-inch square cubes.

“Controlling the spread of rabies in wild animals is essential to ensuring human and domestic animal health,” said George Greig, agriculture secretary. “The oral rabies vaccination program has been the key component in preventing the westward spread of raccoon rabies. I appreciate the cooperation of residents in the affected counties in helping us to mitigate the threat of rabies.”

Wildlife rabies accounts for more than 90 percent of U.S. rabies cases, with raccoons making up more than half of this total. The primary purpose of the baiting is to vaccinate raccoons, although other animals that ingest the bait will be vaccinated against the virus.

This vaccine has been shown to be safe in more than 60 different species of animals, including dogs and cats.

Six agencies are partnering with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services for this program, including the state departments of Agriculture and Health, the Pennsylvania Game Commission, Erie County Health Department, Allegheny County Health Department and the Centers for Disease Control.
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Kate    Conneaut, OH

10/30/2014 10:21:51 AM

Does anyone know if this was effective? I purchased a house on Lake Erie in 2013, the people that owned it prior to foreclosure left intact cats to die. After two years of being on the market, I have over ten cats that greet me. They are now fixed but, I received a notice from the city that because they carry rabies, I have to trap and kill them. There is a limit of pets in the city so I can not bring them in the house. I did get a loan to fence in the yard but the job was not completed and they can get out. Long story short, if I can prove that I gave them an oral rabies vaccine, I am hoping to get more time to finish building the fence. I am in Ashtabula county Ohio.


6/7/2013 8:08:06 PM

I think it's a wonderful idea. They have done it here in Broward County Florida and not a single case of rabid wildlife has been reported in 5 years. It should be mandatory all over the United States.

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

12/4/2012 5:21:05 PM

Cindy -- Thank you for taking care of these cats. We don't have further info on how to get this vaccine, but you can ask others at our forum, CatChannel.com/Forum. Good luck in caring for these cats and getting them spayed/neutered to prevent any unwanted litters!

Cindy    Oil City, PA

12/3/2012 8:06:32 AM

I have two stray cats that are about four or five months old. I have shelter for them and wormed them and are feeding them. I would like to know where can I get a oral vaccine for rabies. They are wild and will not come to me. I would like to put something in there food. They do come around every day and evening and are using the house we built for them Cindy

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