Rabies prevention program for raccoons starts Monday

(AP Photo/Amy Sancetta)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) – An annual baiting program to help prevent rabies in raccoons begins Monday in Tennessee.

The Tennessee Department of Health is working with the U.S. Department of Agriculture on the project. Oral rabies vaccine for wild raccoons will be distributed along Tennessee’s borders with Alabama, Georgia, North Carolina and Virginia.

Vaccine packets coated with fishmeal will be distributed in a 20-county area, including portions of Bradley, Carter, Cocke, Franklin, Greene, Grundy, Hamblen, Hamilton, Hawkins, Lincoln, Marion, McMinn, Meigs, Monroe, Moore, Polk, Sequatchie, Sullivan, Unicoi and Washington counties. The bait will be distributed by airplane and helicopter.

The products are safe, but officials advise against allowing pets to consume them. Wear gloves when picking up bait that needs to be removed, and advise children to leave the baits alone.

Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.  All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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