Oral Rabies Vaccine Project

The Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Program is for the immunization of raccoons in the wild. The purpose of the program is to create a barrier to prevent raccoon rabies from spreading further west. The ORV Program is a cooperative effort between the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Virginia Department of Health (VDH), Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and other organizations. A vaccination zone has been established from Maine to Alabama to prevent the westward and northward spread of raccoon rabies. Virginia has participated in this interstate effort since 2002. Baits containing rabies vaccine are distributed within the area of Virginia highlighted below.

Oral Rabies Vaccine Tips

  • If you discover a oral rabies vaccine bait, the best action is to leave it where you found it.
  • Do not attempt to remove a bait from the mouth of your pet; doing so may cause you to be bitten.
  • This vaccine cannot cause rabies and is safe if eaten by domestic dogs and cats. It has been tested on more than 60 animal species with no adverse effects.
  • If you come into contact with the pink-liquid vaccine contained within the bait, wash the affected area thoroughly with soap and water and call USDA’s WS office toll free at 1–866–4USDA–WS (1–866–487–3297) for further instructions and referral.

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