Below is an update on the Public Health Services response to Raccoon Strain Rabies circulating in the community. Working together the MNRF, City of Hamilton Public Health Services, and Animal Services continue a concerted effort to control and eliminate the Raccoon Rabies Strain.

As of today 33,300 Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV) baits have been deposited by hand or air in the area by the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry.

Aerial baiting is complete, and hand baiting will continue into next week with target to finish by Friday.

As a department, Public Health Services quickly mobilized to be prepared for to the workload this could generate. For this issue communication to increase awareness of rabies, the ORV baiting program, and to minimize health risk was key. As such, we proactively shared key messages with the media, held media availability, and made staff available to answer questions and concerns from residents. The media proved to be a good partner in helping share key messages to minimizing health risks to the public.

To date we have not received many calls from public about concerns due to exposure. As such, we are deactivating the Public Health Services IMS response to Raccoon Strain Rabies circulating in our community. Ongoing management of the rabies issue from a Public Health perspective will be dealt with within the Vector Born Disease program with support from other areas as needed.

In response to rabies circulating in our community, we recognize you may get questions from staff, community stakeholders, and constituents. Here are some key messages you can share about the City’s response to rabies in Hamilton:

Raccoon Strain Rabies is circulating in our raccoon population

The overall the risk remains low to the general public but there are measures you can take to minimize your risk:

  • Report potential exposures due to animal bites or scratches to public health by calling 905-546-2489. Wash wounds with soap and water and seek medical attention
  • If you believe you were in contact with a sick raccoon, or if you see other sick raccoons, skunks or other wildlife report it to the City of Hamilton at 905-546-2489
  • Vaccinate your pets against rabies, and keep vaccines up to date. Learn more about the City’s Responsible Animal Ownership by-law
  • More information:
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