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Oral Rabies Vaccination Program

Cuyahoga Valley National Park » Oral Rabies Vaccination Program » Document List

Along with 22 other states, the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio are involved in a national ORVAC program to stop the spread of specific raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies variants or “strains” of the rabies virus and reduce or eliminate this strain of the virus from the eastern United States. If not stopped, these strains could potentially spread to a much broader area of the U.S. and cause substantial increases in public and domestic animal health costs because of increased rabies exposures. The proposed action would be conducted in cooperation with the various state agencies (i.e., health departments, agriculture departments, and wildlife agencies), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services (APHIS-WS), and/or other agencies with jurisdiction over vaccine use and application in wildlife and domestic animal species. The program would involve the distribution of ORVAC baits to create zones of vaccinated target species that would then serve as barriers to further cease the advancement of raccoon rabies virus variants. The action would involve the use of APHIS-WS federal funds to purchase and distribute ORVAC baits.

The proposed ORVAC program would reduce the possibility of humans and animals becoming infected with the raccoon variant of the rabies virus and would support the states of Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio in the effort of stopping the spread of a specific raccoon rabies variant or “strain” of the rabies virus and reducing or eliminating this strain of the virus from the eastern U.S. Currently, cooperative rabies vaccination programs are already being conducted on various land classes in each of the aforementioned states in addition to numerous other states in the eastern U.S. By participating, the NPS would aid in enhancing the effectiveness of the national program. If baiting programs were conducted around these large land masses, reservoirs of the virus would likely still exist, creating holes in the program and potentially making the program less effective at stopping the forward advance or eliminating the raccoon strain of the rabies virus. No cumulative impacts are anticipated from the distribution of ORVAC into the environment. The ORVAC vaccine and bait that would be used has been found safe to use on raccoon and other animal species, has a negligible risk of causing adverse affects to humans, is readily consumed by target animal species, and does not cause bioaccumulation in the environment. A limited number of baits would be distributed one time per year, thereby minimizing the potential for persons to be exposed to an ORVAC bait or to bait distributing equipment.

Project Contacts for comments:

George Rogers Clark National Historical Park
Frank Doughman 812-882-1776 x104

Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historical Park
Ann Honious 937-225-7705 x221

James A. Garfield National Historical Site
Carol Spears 440-974-2993

Hopewell Culture National Historical Park
Myra Vick 740-774-1126

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore
Randy Knutson 219-926-7561 x334

Keweenaw National Historical Park
Thomas Baker 906-337-1104 x131

Lincoln Boyhood National Memorial
Mike Capps 812-937-4541

Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
Jerry Belant 906-387-4818

Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore
Ken Hyde 231-326-5134 x422

Contact Information

Cuyahoga Valley National Park - Project Lead
Lisa Petit 330-650-5071 x3