If you have been bitten or scratched by an animal or in contact with its saliva, consult the Treatment section of rabies in humans.

If you suspect that a wild animal has rabies, stay away and report it at 1-877-346-6763 or fill the online form This hyperlink will open in a new window.. The animal could be collected for analysis.

If you suspect that your domestic animal has rabies, consult your veterinarian immediately.

The Gouvernement du Québec has implemented a plan to fight against raccoon rabies. It provides for surveillance and control operations to keep Quebec free from this type of rabies.

Raccoon rabies surveillance and control operations target raccoons, skunks and red foxes.

Surveillance operations

Surveillance operations consist of collecting animals that have died or show symptoms of rabies in high risk zones in order to carry out analyses to determine whether or not they are infected with the disease.

Raccoon rabies surveillance aims to:

  • Verify if the disease is present in Québec;
  • Document the duration, size of the territory affected and the intensity of the outbreak, were one to occur in Québec;
  • Closely monitor raccoon rabies outside Québec, since it is likely to pose a threat at our borders;
  • Provide data to support scientific and epidemiological findings and risk analyses.

Enhanced surveillance area

The enhanced surveillance area, located in Montérégie and Estrie, represents the territory most at risk of rabies reintroduction. In this area, residents are called upon to report suspicious animals throughout the year. Their collaboration is essential, because among all the specimens analyzed, the highest rabies rate is found in the animals reported by individuals.

In 2019, the enhanced surveillance area includes 143 municipalities and Aboriginal and unorganized territories: 107 in Montérégie and 36 in Estrie.

Map of 2020 surveillance operations (PDF 1.23 Mb)

List of municipalities under surveillance 2020 (PDF 191 Kb)

Control operations

Control operations have been conducted since 2006 to contain, reduce or eliminate raccoon rabies in a given territory. They include three types of possible intervention:

  • Vaccination of wild animals through manual and aerial spreading of vaccine baits;
  • Post-vaccination studies, which consist in capturing animals in a vaccinated sector to conduct sampling and analysis. This makes it possible to estimate the vaccination rate of wild animals. The captured animals are then released;
  • Ad hoc measures that may combine a sampling operation (where specimens are captured for analysis) and a vaccination operation within a certain radius around an area where vaccination has never occurred and in which a case of raccoon rabies has been reported.

Since 2010, control operations have sought to keep Québec free of raccoon rabies by avoiding any reintroduction from the United States, where cases of rabies are detected each year not far from southern Québec, in the states of Vermont and New York.

Interventions of summer 2020

Vaccine bait

Vaccine baits contain a vaccine for wild animals and their composition has been developed to specifically attract some species more than others. The vaccine contained in the bait is considered safe for humans, domestic animals and the environment and cannot transmit rabies to humans or animals under any circumstances. However, if the bait is covered with human odour, it may lose its attractiveness and effectiveness. It is therefore important to avoid handling them. There is also a small possibility that a person with a weakened immune system may develop an infection (such as a cold) and complications if they were in contact with the vaccine fluid. Like any other medicinal substance, vaccine bait must be handled with care.

Vaccine bait resembles a greenish packet of ketchup or khaki green ravioli and has a sweet odour that attracts the target species. Their shells are designed to withstand the impact of air drops and the whims of Mother Nature. Because of their camouflage colour, once spread, they blend in with the environment and are very difficult for humans to spot.

If you find vaccine bait

If the bait is intact, in a place accessible to wildlife and away from human activity, leave it there without handling it so it remains available for consumption by the targeted animals.

To dispose of an intact vaccine bait that inadvertently ends up in a heavily trafficked area, in a harvest or in the immediate environment of farm animals, the best solution is to toss it in the trash. It is, however, recommended to wear gloves when handling the bait and to place it in a leakproof container before discarding. Thoroughly clean any fruit or vegetables that may have been in contact with the bait, as done for contact with other foreign bodies.

If the bait is pierced or crushed, avoid contact with the vaccine liquid and use tools, such as a shovel, to dispose of it in a leakproof container (plastic bag, plastic dish, etc.). Always thoroughly wash your hands after handling.

In case of contact with a pierced or crushed bait, call Info-Santé 811 or dial the number on the back of the bait to assess if there is a health risk.

Caution: If vaccine bait has been in contact with fruits or vegetables intended for human consumption or ingested by a farm animal, notify the Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics and the authorities of the provincial raccoon rabies vaccination program of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs at 1-877-346-6763.

If you find intact vaccine bait, in a place accessible to wildlife and away from human activity, leave it there without handling it so it remains available for consumption by the targeted animals.

To dispose of an intact vaccine bait that inadvertently ends up in a heavily trafficked area, in a harvest or in the immediate environment of farm animals, the best solution is to toss it in the trash. It is, however, recommended to wear gloves when handling the bait and to place it in a leakproof container before discarding. Thoroughly clean any fruit or vegetables that may have been in contact with the bait, as done for contact with other foreign bodies.

If the bait is pierced or crushed, avoid contact with the vaccine liquid and use tools, such as a shovel, to dispose of it in a leakproof container (plastic bag, plastic dish, etc.). Always thoroughly wash your hands after handling.

In case of contact with a pierced or crushed bait, call Info-Santé at 811 or dial the number on the back of the bait to assess if there is a health risk.

CAUTION: If vaccine bait has been in contact with fruits or vegetables intended for human consumption or ingested by a farm animal, notify the Canadian Centre for Veterinary Biologics and the authorities of the provincial raccoon rabies vaccination program of the Ministère des Forêts, de la Faune et des Parcs at 1-877-346-6763.

Post-vaccination study

A post-vaccination study can be conducted a few weeks after control operations to assess the effectiveness of vaccination of wild animals against raccoon rabies. This study consists of taking blood samples from raccoons captured in the vaccinated sector to confirm that vaccination operations are effective and that they allow sufficient raccoons to be immunized to prevent the reintroduction of rabies into Québec.

This study will not be carried out in 2019 since studies from previous years have shown that vaccination operations are effective. In addition, measures taken by our southern neighbours have also proven effective. Rabies cases in the United States are on the decline and moving away from the border.