Dec. 1, 2017 - From November 13-17, the APHIS office at the American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) co-hosted an Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) workshop on wildlife rabies management with Taiwan’s Animal Health Research Institute (AHRI) and Bureau of Animal and Plant Health Inspection and Quarantine (BAPHIQ). Representatives from Canada, Chile, Japan, Mexico, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, Taiwan, Thailand and the U.S. participated in the workshop and exchanged information on wildlife rabies and wildlife rabies management practices throughout the APEC region.
The workshop also provided an opportunity for the U.S. and Taiwan to showcase the groundbreaking wildlife rabies management work that has been conducted in Taiwan in recent years. AHRI and BAPHIQ staff have been working closely with APHIS’ Wildlife Services (WS) program unit and other international counterparts to develop and implement a rabies management program for wild Formosan ferret-badgers (Melogale moschata subaurantiaca) in Taiwan. This has included extensive research on the ecology of ferret-badgers, development of oral rabies vaccine baits, efficacy studies on appropriate rabies vaccine dosage, surveys of ferret-badger population densities, and delineation of rabies affected ferret-badger populations.
Workshop participants made a field trip to Hualien County on Taiwan’s east coast to visit local work sites that contribute to on-going research into the establishment of a rabies buffer zone to prevent the further northward migration of wildlife rabies in Taiwan. Taiwan is the first country in East Asia to develop a management strategy with a long-term goal of reducing and eventually eliminating wildlife rabies in a challenging nocturnal species like the Formosan ferret-badger.