Maryland’s Only Rabies Vaccine Program Begins Today in Anne Arundel County

Annapolis, Maryland (August 31, 2023) - Starting today, the Anne Arundel County Department of Health begins its Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) Project. The goal is to immunize thousands of wild raccoons. While the vaccine is intended for raccoons, other wildlife like foxes and skunks will also be attracted to the bait.

The Baits:

  • Contain liquid rabies vaccine.
  • Will be placed in neighborhoods by ground teams of trained Department of Health staff. Teams will wear shirts with Department of Health logos and travel in marked county vehicles.
  • Will be dropped from a low-flying county Police helicopter in wooded or less-populated areas.
  • Come in two types. One looks like a ketchup packet with a light brown waxy coating. The other looks like a small brown brick, is approximately 0.75 inches thick by 1.25 inches square, and has a plastic packet inside. In both types of bait, the vaccine is contained within the packet.

The Vaccine:

  • Immunizes raccoons when the animal bites into the packet that contains the vaccine.
  • Cannot cause rabies and is not harmful to raccoons, pets or other animals.
  • High fat content in attractant may cause stomach irritation in pets.
  • Is felt to be a low human health risk. However, it is advised that the following individuals avoid handling the bait: 
    • People younger than 18 years old
    • Pregnant women
    • Anyone with a compromised immune system
    • Anyone with a chronic skin condition

Rabies is a fatal viral disease that spreads through the bites or scratches of infected animals. Rabies can spread to both animals and humans, so being vigilant about its prevention is important.

Anyone who comes in contact with the bait or has a pet that finds the bait is asked to call 410-222-7192. The Department of Health recommends that pet owners keep their pets confined or on a leash during the baiting and for two weeks thereafter. If your pet finds a bait, carefully remove the bait from your pet’s mouth.

For more information on the ORV Project, visit

Oral Rabies Vaccine Program Bait
Oral Rabies Vaccine Program Bait

The ORV Project receives support from the Anne Arundel County Government and the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Wildlife Services.