PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Wildlife officials are boosting a program to vaccinate raccoons in the wild in an effort prevent the spread of rabies in Maine and northward into Canada.
Officials are doubling the number of doses from 125,000 last year to 351,000 this year. They'll be distributed over a 2,400-square-mile area in northeastern Maine starting Aug. 3.
The Wildlife Services program within the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service began the program in 2003. The goal is to eliminate raccoon rabies in northern Maine because of the threat to people and animals.
So far, there have been 30 cases this year of animal rabies in 15 of Maine's 16 counties. Those include a woman bitten by a rabid fox on her porch in Monmouth.