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Upcoming local air drops intend to rid local raccoons of rabies

Residents in those counties will see low-flying fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft distributing rabies vaccine from September 25th to October 25th. (Images: TN Dept. of Agriculture / MGN)

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Wildlife Services will be distributing oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits in portions of east and southcentral Tennessee to vaccinate raccoons and prevent the spread of rabies in the state.

In the NewsChannel 9 viewing area, this will happen in the following Tennessee counties:

  • Bradley
  • Grundy
  • Hamilton
  • Marion
  • McMinn
  • Meigs
  • Polk
  • Sequatchie

The drops will also take place in Carter, Cocke, Franklin, Greene, Hawkins, Johnson, Monroe, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington Counties.

Residents in those counties will see low-flying fixed wing and rotary wing aircraft distributing rabies vaccine from September 25th to October 25th.

ORV baits are small white plastic packets that are coated in fishmeal crumbles and placed in suitable raccoon habitat.

ORV baits should be left alone whenever possible.

However, if found where children or pets play, they should be moved into a fencerow, woodlot, ditch or other raccoon habitat with a gloved hand. Damaged baits should be bagged and disposed of in the trash.

The Tennessee Department of Agriculture says you should be sure to wash hands thoroughly after skin contact with any ORV bait.

ORV baits are not harmful to your pets, although eating too many may cause vomiting or diarrhea. Do not risk getting bitten by taking bait away from your pet. Instead, confine your pet and check and remove any additional bait found in the area. If your pet does eat a bait, you should avoid your pet’s saliva for 24 hours and wash any skin that may have been licked.

If you have additional questions about ORV or find ORV bait please call 866-487-3297 for additional information.

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