Evira takes measures on eastern border to control rabies

13.9.2017 12:02

Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira starts the aerial distribution of rabies vaccine baits on the south-eastern border on 15 September. A total of 180 000 vaccine baits for small predators will be dropped during a period of about one month from the starting day.

The baits are distributed on the south-eastern border in a ca. 40-km wide zone extending from Ilomantsi to Virolahti, and further in a 20-km wide zone along the southern coast from the eastern border to Pyhtää. The total aerial distribution area is ca. 10 000 square-kilometres. Flights will be conducted on a daily basis between 7 and 21 o'clock for about four weeks. The drops will start in the northern parts of the area.

The baits are dropped from the airplane every 60 - 70 metres, and the distance between the flight lines is one kilometre. Baits will not be dropped into courtyards and gardens, population centres or water bodies.

Do not touch vaccine baits

Baits found in the wild should not be touched as this may cause small predators to refrain from eating them due to human smell.

"Baits that fall near habitation can be moved, using protective gloves, to the edge of a forest or some other safe location. If a large number of baits is found within a very small area or in the vicinity of residential buildings, Evira should be informed about it", recommends Senior Researcher Tiina Nokireki from Evira.

The vaccine baits are brown pieces approximately 5 x 4.5 x 1.5 cm in size and 30 g in weight, with a strong smell of fish extract. The vaccine comprises attenuated rabies viruses and is contained in the bait in liquid form inside a foil capsule.

Photos of vaccine baits The text is in Finnish.

Accidental contact requires swift action

If the vaccine comes into contact with the mucous membranes of your mouth, nose or eyes, rinse the affected area with plenty of water for 15 minutes. If you get the vaccine on an open wound or broken skin, wash the wound with plenty of water and soap for 15 minutes and then clean with 70 proof alcohol. You should also contact a health care centre.

Dogs should also be kept away from the vaccine baits, because some dogs have manifested vomiting and nausea after eating vaccine capsules.

Any adverse effects should be reported to the Finnish Medicines Agency Fimea by submitting an adverse reaction notification.

More information about adverse reactions caused by veterinary medicines (Fimea)

It is safe to pick berries and mushrooms in the vaccine distribution area.

Send small predators for follow-up examinations

It is important that foxes, raccoon dogs and other small predators that are killed by hunters or found dead in or near the bait vaccination area are sent to Evira for follow-up examinations. Evira examines the animal samples to monitor the coverage of vaccine.

For more information, please contact:
Tiina Nokireki, Head of Section, tel. + 358 50 413 1687 (aerial distribution and rabies diagnostics)
Marja Isomursu, Senior Researcher, tel. +358 40 512 1248 (examinations of small predators)


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