Rabies Baiting Project
The Natural Resources Division has partnered with the United State Department of Agriculture's (USDA) Wildlife Services in order to help combat rabies in Plymouth. The project began on Cape Cod, where over years of research and vaccine distribution, rabies has now been nearly eradicated from the area; the last recorded case of rabies in a raccoon was 2013. Because of this, USDA has started to push efforts off-Cape, and Plymouth is now part of the project for the first time since 2003.
The project involves distributing oral rabies vaccines (pictured) across Plymouth that specifically target mammalian species: raccoons, fishers, opossums, skunks, coyotes, fox (gray and red), river otters, and woodchucks. The vaccine is effective in the animal for approximately 6 months. Vaccines are distributed by hand from USDA and/or DMEA staff, and also through bait stations set up by USDA in more remote locations in town (pictured). Baiting occurs twice a year; April to June and September to October.
If you find a vaccine:
- Use a glove or a towel to pick it up. Throw it into the woods where children and pets will not find it. If no suitable place is available, dispose of the bait in the trash.
- Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the vaccine/bait package.
- If your pet has eaten or had contact with a bait, it is not harmful to them, but please report the contact to: USDA Wildlife Services' MA/CT/RI Rabies Program Coordinator Brian Bjorklund at 508-476-2956.
- If you or another person has had contact with the liquid vaccine, wash the area thoroughly and call the Department of Public Health at 617-983-6800.
If you have any questions or concerns about the project, please contact the DMEA office at 508-747-1620, ext. 10127.