Oakville residents are fortunate to live in one of the most biodiverse areas in Ontario with over 900 different species of plants, 185 types of birds, 30 species of amphibians and reptiles, 29 mammals and 58 different kinds of fish. The town has a number of programs and services in place to protect and enhance these resources, including its Wildlife Management Strategy, an online coyote reporting system, a Biodiversity page and information on wildlife proofing your property.
The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF) is distributing oral rabies vaccine bait in eastern and southern Ontario, including Oakville, in an effort to prevent the disease from spreading through the raccoon and fox populations. The program will begin mid-July and continue until the end of October.
There have been no confirmed cases of rabies in Oakville this year.
For more information, please visit Ontario.ca/rabies or contact MNRF’s rabies information line at 1-888-574-6656.
The khaki-green coloured, loonie-sized bait being distributed in parks and woodlands around Oakville is made of wax-fat with an attractant flavour (vanilla-sugar).
A plastic package containing the liquid rabies vaccine is embedded in the centre. When an animal such as a raccoon or fox bites into the bait, it punctures an inner plastic container and releases the vaccine, which gets absorbed into its mouth. A label with the MNRF’s toll-free telephone number (1-888-574-6656) and “Do not eat” are located on the exterior of the bait package.
A small camera is sometimes set up near the bait to track the effectiveness of the program.
If found, the bait should not be touched, but left for raccoons and foxes to consume.
Though the bait is not harmful to pets or people, dogs may experience an upset stomach or allergic reaction from the vaccines. Pet owners should contact their veterinarian as a precaution if ingestion is suspected. No cases of this have been reported to the ministry so far.
There are a number of resources for reporting incidents with wildlife: