The U.S. Department of Agriculture has begun its annual oral rabies vaccination distribution project to help prevent the spread of rabies in raccoons. However, this year they’re doing things a little differently.

Source: NEWS CENTER Maine/Youtube

The project will focus on the spread of rabies in raccoons in the eastern United States, according to the USDA. This year, the rabies vaccines are edible pellets covered in fishmeal to attract raccoons and other critters. They are distributing the vaccines by airplane in rural areas and by helicopter and vehicles for suburban and urban areas.

Approximately 348,000 vaccines will be distributed in northern Maine and 535,000 distributed in western Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and southwestern Virginia. Starting next month, 70,000 vaccines will be distributed in parts of Massachusetts. Followed by 880,000 vaccines in North Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia and 820,000 vaccines in Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Some parts of Alabama will receive 1.1 million vaccines.

The vaccines are safe for over 60 animal species, including domestic dogs and cats. Mass vaccination programs are the only way to stop the spread of rabies and save thousands of lives.

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