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Tuesday, January 30 • 2:00pm - 2:20pm
SYMPOSIA-12: A Cooperative Management Approach Toward the Elimination of Raccoon Rabies from the U.S.

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AUTHORS. Richard B. Chipman, Kathleen M. Nelson, Ashlee D. Martin - USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program

ABSTRACT. Effective wildlife rabies management is now possible at the landscape scale as illustrated by the elimination of rabies in foxes in several countries in Europe and near elimination in southern Ontario over the past 30 years. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) has revolutionized wildlife rabies management and facilitated the implementation of the largest coordinated wildlife disease management program in North America. Rabies management with ORV in the US has contributed to the elimination of canine rabies, the near elimination of gray fox rabies in Texas and prevented appreciable spread of raccoon rabies since programs began in the mid-1990’s. However, protecting human and animal health and reducing costs to the public through targeted management of wildlife rabies in reservoir populations remains a complex challenge. Rabies control and elimination in raccoons and skunks has proven particularly difficult. To meet the long term goal of rabies elimination in these species, field trials in the US were initiated in 2011 to evaluate ONRAB (Artemis Technologies, Guelph, Ontario, Canada), a vaccine-bait that has been used successfully in Quebec to eliminate raccoon rabies and has shown improved results in skunks at high bait densities in Ontario. Results from the US field trials are promising and have allowed managers to strategically pivot from a focus on stopping the spread of raccoon rabies to a focus on raccoon rabies elimination. Essential program components include international, regional and local coordination, collaborative strategic planning, enhanced rabies surveillance, effective distribution of oral rabies vaccine, intensive program monitoring, implementation of contingency actions and applied research. Success of the program to date is linked to sustained program support, transparency, hyper-communication among multi-agency partners and clearly defined goals and objectives as outlined in the cooperatively developed North America Rabies Management Plan and the US National Plan for Wildlife Rabies Management.

Tuesday January 30, 2018 2:00pm - 2:20pm CST