Raccoon with rabies found in Port Colborne

A raccoon in an urban area of Port Colborne has tested positive for rabies. Since December 2015, there have been 16 animals with rabies in Niagara, and a total of 296 in Hamilton, Halton, Niagara and the surrounding area.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), along with SPCAs and Humane Societies, are continuing to conduct increased surveillance activities for animals with rabies. As well, with warmer weather arriving, animals will be more active. Given this combination it is possible that more animals with rabies will be identified in Niagara in the coming weeks.

Niagara Region Public Health reminds residents to take the following measures to protect themselves from rabies:

  • Ensure pet dogs and cats have current rabies vaccinations (typically needed annually by law)
  • Prevent pet dogs and cats from roaming off-leash or unsupervised
  • Avoid all contact with wild animals and prevent contact between pets and wildlife

Report wild animals exhibiting abnormal behaviour (particularly raccoons) to either local animal control services or directly to the MNRF:

  • MNRF Rabies Hotline: 1-888-574-6656
  • Welland/Port Colborne SPCA: 905-735-1552
  • Lincoln County Humane Society: 905-688-7722
  • Niagara Falls Humane Society: 905-356-4404
  • Fort Erie Humane Society: 905-871-2461

An animal with rabies may not display symptoms, and so all animal bites or scratches, however mild, must be assessed by a health professional as soon as possible to ensure the person bitten/scratched is not at risk.

Immediately report all animal bites and scratches of humans to Niagara Region Public Health at 905-688-8248, ext. 7269 or toll free 1-888-505-6074. Niagara Region Public Health is available to take calls about animal bites 24/7.

For more information about rabies, call Niagara Region Public Health at 905-688-8248 ext. 7269 or toll free 1-888-505-6074.

Source – Niagara Region press release



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