RIGOLET, N.L. – A fox that was recently killed in Rigolet has tested positive for rabies.
It’s the first case of rabies reported in Labrador in two years.
Samples from the fox were sent to Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) laboratories in Ottawa for confirmation.
The provincial government is encouraging pet owners Labrador to vaccinate their animals.
Rabies vaccination help protect animals and humans against rabies. Dogs and cats can be vaccinated through local veterinary clinics. In areas where no private veterinary services are available, on the northeast coast of Labrador, Nuniasiavut public health nurses offer free rabies vaccine for pets.
Rabies is common in wild animals in Labrador. It is also cyclical with the last major outbreak in 2012.
Rabies is spread through the bite or scratch of an infected animal. Any wild animal, unvaccinated dogs and cats can be infected. You cannot tell if an animal is infected with rabies by sight. Animals in the late stages of the disease, however, often act strangely or cannot move properly.
Any unusual behaviour in wild or domestic animals should be reported to conservation officers, wildlife enforcement officers, veterinarians, police or public health officials.
Rabies education information is available at www.faa.gov.nl.ca/agrifoods/animals/health/rabies.html.