The Cape Cod Rabies Task Force will be distributing oral rabies vaccine (ORV) baits across the Upper Cape throughout the month of October.
The director of the Bourne Department of Natural Resources, Christopher M. Southwood, said that distribution of the baits will take place in villages on the mainland side of the Cape Cod Canal on October 1, 2 and if necessary 3.
Distribution in villages south of the canal will take place October 7, 8, 9 and if necessary 10, Mr. Southwood said.
“Close to 86,000 of the ORV baits will be distributed by hand by town officials and volunteers, while approximately 5,500 will be distributed by bait stations in selected areas,” a task force press release said.
The task force announced that approximately 19,000 baits will be hand distributed from the Cape Cod Canal in Bourne through Route 151 in Falmouth, 28 in Mashpee and 149 in Barnstable.
In addition, more than 70,000 vaccine baits will be distributed on the mainland in an effort to vaccinate wildlife in southeastern Massachusetts, and prevent spread of the disease to Cape Cod.
People and their pets cannot contract rabies by touching the baits. However, residents are asked to leave them alone should one be found.
The task force also issued a reminder that the “translocation of wildlife by the public is strictly prohibited.”
“By not relocating wildlife, people can and will help to prevent the spread of rabies and other diseases to non-infected areas,” the task force said.