Collection of small carnivores for monitoring rabies in 2013 was successful


<p>&nbsp;The Finnish Food Safety Authority Evira collects the carcasses of small carnivores every year in order to monitor the status of rabies and the rabies vaccine bait campaign. The collection in the autumn of 2013 was very successful, and a good amount of samples was received.</p>

 The success of the rabies vaccine bait campaign is monitored by testing the blood of foxes and raccoon dogs for rabies antibodies, which are generated for protection against rabies in the system of an animal that has eaten a vaccine bait.  In addition, a marker in the bait becomes attached to the bones of an animal that has eaten a vaccine bait; the marker can be discovered in UV light under a microscope. The brains of the animal are also examined in case of the rabies virus.

The small carnivore samples are also used to study the occurrence of Trichinella and the Echinococcus parasites. If small carnivores are found dead, their cause of death is also investigated. Carcasses are collected in particular from the rabies vaccine bait areas in Southeast Finland, North Karelia, and eastern South Savo.

The request for samples in 2013 was taken seriously
Evira's goal was to receive 360 animal samples from the rabies vaccine bait area. The goal of samples for 2013 was reached and even exceeded: 438 whole animals, foxes and raccoon dogs, and 366 blood samples were received.

Samples were received from all municipalities in the vaccine area.

Evira thanks the Southeast Finland, North Karelia and South Savo regional offices of the Finnish Wildlife Agency as well as the hunters in these areas for their active participation and cooperation.

Small carnivore carcasses collected again in 2014
You can send whole carcasses of small carnivores to Evira, both hunted and found dead, as long as the decomposition is not too far advanced.  In particular, animals that seem ill or behave strangely should be sent in to be examined. Animals with a normal pelt can be skinned before they are sent.

Preferably, samples should be sent regularly throughout the whole hunting season.

You can find the open seasons at the Finnish Wildlife Agency website

You can see the progress of the collection at the page Pienpetoja rabiesseurantaan (in Finnish).

  Instructions on how to send in small carnivores samples (in Finnish).

Information on rabies  

For more information, please contact:
Marja Isomursu, Researcher
Production Animal and Wildlife Health Research Unit, tel. +358 40 512 1248

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