The EU aims to eradicate wildlife rabies in the EU by 2020. It co-financed fox vaccination programmes for many years to eliminate the risk that foxes spread rabies to humans and domestic animals. These vaccination programmes have been very successful. Whilst fox rabies was common in many EU countries only 10-15 years ago, it was detected in only three EU countries in 2016.
Foxes become vaccinated (protected) against rabies virus by eating vaccine baits that are dropped from aircrafts. Laboratories test samples from foxes that have been shot during hunting to verify that the vaccination programme is effective. It is also very important that foxes found dead or behaving abnormally are reported to the authorities and tested for rabies.
Based on visits to four EU Member States and two neighbouring countries with on-going eradication programmes, this report describes the important components of a rabies eradication programme, and identifies certain potential weaknesses as well as good practices of importance for a successful conclusion of the rabies eradication in the EU.
The report can be found at the 'Read more...' link below: