Raccoons, skunks, bats top rabies carriers

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Raccoons in Ontario were re-sponsible for most rabies cases by species and by province, according to the 2016 year-end report on rabies from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency.

Ontario reported 288 cases of rabies last year; 171 were raccoons, 84 were skunks, 29 were bats and there was one case each in a cow, cat, llama and red fox.

Canada wide, there were 392 cases of rabies reported, affecting animals from 12 different species.

After Ontario, Saskatchewan had the second highest number of 
cases at 43. Of those, 22 were found in skunks and 14 in bats. Two cats were infected and there was one case each in a cow, goat, dog, horse and sheep.

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British Columbia reported 18 cases and Alberta reported 10, all of them in bats. Manitoba reported 16 cases, nine of them in skunks, three in cattle and one each in a bat, goat, cat and dog.

Rabies, a viral disease, is almost always fatal in all mammals including people. It is a reportable disease under the Health of Animals Act.

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  • Stephen Daniels

    Stop this campaign against skunks the odds of this is so minimal and the illness usually very apparent in the affected that there is no need to shoot skunks on sight.Moose cause more deaths than skunks.

    • Kissing optional

      That is because you are not allowed to shoot moose on sight.
      Vermin such as skunks and raccoons earn their title as vermin

      • Stephen Daniels

        Round here the skunks keep the rats away so they are allowed a home under the barn for the last decade.