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Foxes and raccoon dogs – Oral rabies vaccination programmes

Oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programmes differ in approach and scale depending upon the species being targeted. In Europe, foxes and raccoon dogs are the reservoir species of (terrestrial) rabies and therefore the focus of sustained vaccination programmes over the last 30 years. 

In the 1940’s and 50’s fox rabies spread rapidly throughout mainland Europe, prompting research into the best way of vaccinating such a wide spread wildlife population. With conventional methods of reducing the fox population failing to have an impact, novel approaches were required. Research in the USA and subsequently in several European countries such as Switzerland, France and Germany led to the models for ORV programmes that we see today.

Foxes and raccoon dogs: development and success of ORV programmes in Europe


first field trials in Europe with chicken head baits


introduction of manufactured baits


reduction in overall rabies incidence in the European Union since 1990 *1

(*1) Source: Rabies Bulletin Europe (www.who-rabies-bulletin.org)

Oral vaccination of foxes and raccoon dogs

Feel free to read or download important papers as PDF.

Different vaccine strains used in Europe

Elimination of fox-mediated rabies in Germany

Longterm Efficacy