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Welcome to the technical sessions schedule for the 2015 SEAFWA Annual Meeting.

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Tuesday, November 3 • 3:40pm - 4:00pm
Enhanced Wildlife Rabies Surveillance at the Landscape Level in Support of a Multi-state Oral Rabies Vaccination Program

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Jordona D. Kirby, Kathleen M. Nelson, Dennis Slate, Richard B. Chipman –USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services, National Rabies Management Program

Rabies remains a significant public health and wildlife management challenge in the U.S., with costs of managing rabies exceeding $300 million annually. Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) began in the 1990s, to prevent the raccoon (Procyon lotor) rabies variant from spreading to populated areas in New Jersey and Massachusetts. USDA, APHIS, Wildlife Services’ (WS) involvement in ORV began in Texas during 1995 to prevent the spread of canine rabies variant in coyotes (Canis latrans). Wildlife Services received its first federal appropriation for rabies management in 1998, and the program expanded with a primary focus on preventing the westward spread of raccoon rabies. In 2015, WS and cooperators distributed >10.1 million baits to combat raccoon rabies in 14 eastern states, and canine, gray fox (Urocyon cinereoargenteus) and skunk (Mephitis mephitis) rabies in Texas. Enhanced rabies surveillance includes testing of suspicious-acting and road-killed animals within proximity to ORV zones and other strategic areas. Enhanced surveillance coupled with public health surveillance provides more comprehensive information on the spatial distribution of rabies. From 2005-2014, WS collected >82,000 surveillance samples from 24 states and tested 83% with a field-based diagnostic test. Fifteen of 24 states confirmed 1,274 rabid animals that would not have been tested through traditional public health surveillance. The ORV program has led to: no appreciable spread of raccoon rabies, elimination of canine rabies in coyotes, and near elimination of gray fox rabies in Texas. The WS rabies management program represents one of the largest coordinated landscape-level wildlife disease management programs in North America.

Tuesday November 3, 2015 3:40pm - 4:00pm EST
Ballroom Salon A

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