Waco, TX – According to the state officials, flights begin Tuesday, Jan. 10 from Edinburg and will continue for roughly two weeks, with vaccine airdrops occurring along the southern Texas border. Other flights in the program will originate from airports in Del Rio and Alpine.
Nearly 814,000 oral rabies vaccine baits, roughly 64-70 baits per square mile, will be dropped.
Funding for the approximately $2 million project is provided by the State of Texas and the USDA Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service/Wildlife Services.
Four Beechcraft airplanes from the Dynamic Aviation Group, Inc., and a Hughes helicopter from Texas Wildlife Services, will make 8-12 flights per day at 500 to 1,000 feet above ground level along half-mile interval lines.
The first ORVP bait drop took place in 1995 in South Texas to control an outbreak caused by a domestic dog/coyote variant of the rabies virus.
The number of animal cases caused by this variant dropped from 122 cases in 1994 – the year before the first vaccine bait drop – to zero by 2000.
There have been two cases due to the domestic dog/coyote rabies virus variant since that time (one in 2001 and one in 2004), each within a mile of the Rio Grande River.