Rabies Vaccine Bait Drops on Six Nations Reserves
by kmclauch on October 6, 2017 - 6:39pm
Wild animals are just that, wild. Unfortunately, it is difficult to prevent potentially hazardous wild animals from implementing or waltzing into our everyday lives. This rings especially true when we are trying to avoid a sick animal that has the potential to influence domesticated pets as well as humans. Three raccoons on Six Nations Reserves have been found and tested positive for rabies this year, 2017. As a result, the Six Nations Council has been taking extensive measures and has been dropping rabies vaccine baits from helicopters on the reserves. They plan to implement more drops in the near future. The discovery of the infected raccoons is the result of more than 20 calls to police from concerned residents when raccoons are found to be exhibiting odd behaviour. In these cases, police respond, assess the situation and destroy the animal when necessary. The animals are then brought to a lab to be tested for rabies in order to determine the cause behind their peculiar actions. One of the raccoons which tested positive was found as roadkill and was not destroyed by police officials. There has been an increasing number of cases of rabies in Ontario since 2015 causing the need for urgency in trying to control and manage the outbreak. The bait is intended to target raccoons, skunks, and foxes in the area. Residents have been encouraged to not allow house pets, such as dogs, to consume the bait if they come across it and have been encouraged to seek veterinary assistance if the instance does occur as a precaution.
This news is an extremely important piece of information, as wildlife is a major part not only in the general public life but also in the life of the First Nations Communities. Directly linked to their roots, the First Nations have been known to take extreme pride in their land and environment. When posed with a serious issue such as a spread of rabies, it is important and dire for all parties involved to take actions in a way that does not put the environment or humans in harm's way. Based on the risk posed I believe that the First Nations Community made the best decision possible that will hopefully help to mitigate the issue while preventing environmental damage and reducing the risk to humans and household pets. The First Nations community has been keeping the public updated on the issue through their community website, an important aspect in order to prevent over-worrying from community members, as well as allowing everyone to be kept in the loop on updates on the situation. Referring to the issue attention cycle discussed in class, the First Nations Community is doing its best to prevent the decline of the public interest, as the public attention is needed in order to keep all parties safe. The only issue I see in the choice of action is that the Firth Nations Communities are leaving the treatment of infected animals up to the choice of the animal itself. There is no guarantee that the animals who need the rabies vaccination will stumble across a bait and consume it. That being said, there is also no direct action being taken for those animals who are already infected with rabies, as vaccinations will not help the already infected animals. Potentially, another option that could have been taken would be to set up traps to capture various wildlife, assess the animals which are caught for potential rabies infections, destroy those which cannot be helped and vaccinate those who can. This would be a much more direct action to be taken and would help to confirm that wildlife is actually receiving the vaccinations. This method would be more costly as it requires more manpower, however, it would potentially be highly more effective.
New Post Referenced: http://www.brantfordexpositor.ca/2017/08/14/more-rabies-vaccine-bait-dro...