Rabies in Quebec: myth or reality

     It was in 2006 that the province of Quebec experienced its first cases of raccoon rabies with the detection of 4 cases. In the following years, until 2009, a total of 104 cases will be detected. In an attempt to control this critical situation, several wildlife organizations in Quebec collaborated to air drop vaccine baits (pieces of meat containing an edible dose of the vaccine for wild mammals) in forested areas. Thanks to this, some control was obtained, but cases of rabies (raccoons, skunks and foxes) are still detected every year.


     In 2015, a case of raccoon rabies is detected in the Akwesasne Native Reserve. Although isolated, its origin is traced back to an epidemic outbreak in northern New York State, where about 15 cases were detected at the United States and Quebec border. Moreover, more than half of these cases were found within 5km of the border.

     If we draw a geographical portrait of the situation, it is easy to realize that the Quebec province is surrounded by rabies: to the west by cases in Hamilton, to the east by cases in New Brunswick and to the south by cases in the state of New York. Fortunately, the provincial and federal governments are working to monitor and prevent new outbreaks in mammals, but unfortunately these efforts are still in vain for bat rabies, for which we have no means of prevention. You can therefore understand the importance of vaccinating your animals (annually or every 3 years, as the case may be), in order to participate in the prevention of this deadly condition, for which there is no treatment (for both humans and animals). By vaccinating your pet, it is not only him that we protect, but you and your family, your neighbors, your friends, and their animals. Rabies vaccination should not be just an option, but a duty!