Fight against the spread of raccoon rabies - THE GOVERNMENT OF QUEBEC UNVEILS ITS INTERVENTION PLAN FOR 2009



    SAINT-JEAN-SUR-RICHELIEU, QC, April 27 /CNW Telbec/ - Today's launching
of the first control intervention in the Montérégie and Estrie regions
officially kicks off the implementation of the 2009 intervention plan to fight
raccoon rabies.
    Two cases of raccoon rabies were discovered in
Saint-Georges-de-Clarenceville in the Montérégie region last month in a sector
that is already recognized as being critical. "Since the second year of our
intervention, in 2007, cases have been documented in this sector each year. It
should therefore come as no surprise that this sector will be covered by our
first control intervention in 2009, which consists of proceeding with
vaccinations in order to increase the percentage of raccoons, skunks and foxes
immunized in those zones deemed to be at greatest risk in the Montérégie and
Estrie regions," pointed out Pierre Canac-Marquis, coordinator of the control
operations at the Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune (MRNF).
    This is a first step towards the objective set for 2009 by the
interministerial committee that heads the program, namely to contain and even
reduce the zone where cases of raccoon rabies have been detected. The 2009
intervention plan provides for:

    
    - Vaccination interventions, including the one beginning today and at
      least one other intervention, broader in scope, which will be carried
      out in August, in order to maintain the vaccine barrier which has been
      established for several years now;
    - ad hoc vaccination or sampling interventions, based on how the
      situation evolves in the field;
    - enhanced surveillance, supported by a greater presence on the
      territory;
    - research activities making it possible to better understand the habits
      and habitats of raccoons and skunks in order to better plan control
      interventions.
    

    Encouraging results following the assessment of 2008
    ----------------------------------------------------

    Following a northward extension in 2007, from the U.S. border up to
Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, over a distance of approximately 40 km to the east
of Rivière Richelieu, the zone affected by raccoon rabies remained more or
less unchanged in 2008. Only a few isolated cases were discovered a little
farther to the northeast, mainly in the Farnham region.  In addition, based on
the number and the results of the analyses carried out, the proportion of
animals infected with raccoon rabies has remained roughly the same, which
tends to confirm that raccoon rabies is not expanding and that the situation
seems to have stabilized.
    Despite these encouraging results, the proximity of the populated regions
of the south shore of the St. Lawrence River, as well as the presence of
numerous cases of raccoon rabies south of the border continue to warrant
enhanced surveillance and energetic interventions.

    About the plan to combat raccoon rabies

    The operations to combat the spread of raccoon rabies are managed by an
interministerial committee bringing together representatives of the MRNF, the
Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux, the public health directorates
of the health and social services agencies of Estrie, Montérégie, Montréal and
Chaudière-Appalaches regions, the Ministère de l'Agriculture, des Pêcheries et
de l'Alimentation, Services Québec, the Canadian Food Inspection Agency and
the Faculté de médecine vétérinaire de l'Université de Montréal.
    To obtain more details on the operations to combat raccoon rabies in
Québec, on rabies in general or to report a dead or suspicious animal, visit
the following web site: www.rageduratonlaveur.gouv.qc.ca.


    Source :
    Eric Santerre
    Direction des communications
    Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune
    418 627-8609, poste 3003
    -%SU: SPT
    -%RE: 39,68




For further information:

For further information: Eric Santerre, Direction des communications,
Ministère des Ressources naturelles et de la Faune, (418) 627-8609, poste
3003

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