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Cape Cod and Southeast MA Rabies Task Force

The Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment, in conjunction with the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force, continues to assist towns with maintaining control of terrestrial raccoon rabies on Cape Cod.

The Cape Cod Rabies Task Force (CCSMRTF), co- chaired by Karl von Hone, Yarmouth Director of Natural Resources, and by staff member, Erika Woods, continues to meet regularly to coordinate with local Health Directors, Animal Control Officers and Natural Resource Officers Cape-wide.  Through these coordination efforts, the Task Force works to facilitate the education of town residents and visitors in order to implement town policies and procedures and coordinate the semi-annual distribution of the Oral Rabies Vaccine (ORV).



Fish meal cube baits and coated sachets are distributed throughout southeastern Massachusetts every spring and fall. 

ORV baits

Two types of oral rabies vaccine will be distributed. The sachet and the bait block contain the same amount of vaccine.

If you find a vaccine/bait package:

  • USE A GLOVE OR A TOWEL TO PICK IT UP. Throw it into the woods where children and pets will not find it.  If no suitable place is available, dispose of the bait in the trash.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly after handling the vaccine/bait package.
  • If your pet has eaten or had contact with a bait, please report the contact to: USDA Wildlife Services’ MA/CT/RI Rabies Program Coordinator Brian Bjorklund at (508) 476-2956. The bait is not harmful to pets.  We use this information to educate those distributing the baits that their baits may not have made it to their target destination.
  • If you or another person has had contact with the liquid vaccine, wash the area thoroughly and call the Department of Public Health at (617) 983-6800.

Rabies is present in wildlife in all areas of Cape Cod.  Do not handle wildlife.  If you should come into contact with wildlife, report it to your local animal control.

Follow this link for more information about the oral rabies vaccine distribution in your area:  Vaccine Distribution FAQ

Make sure your cats, dogs and other pets have received their rabies vaccinations.

For more information on the Cape Cod Oral Rabies Vaccination Program call (508) 476-2715, stop by your Town Board of Health or visit

Bait stations will be deployed in wooded areas and will be checked periodically over a 3 week period.

Bait stations deployed in wooded areas.