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APHIS Issues Notice of Supplemental EA to Expand the Use of an Oral Rabies Vaccine into Pennsylvania

Contact: APHISpress@usda.gov

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Animal and Plant Inspection Service has prepared a supplemental environmental assessment (EA) related to a 2019 EA of an oral rabies vaccination (ORV) program in Maine, New Hampshire, New York, Ohio, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia.  This supplement analyzes our proposal to expand ONRAB vaccine baits into the ORV program area in Pennsylvania in cooperation with the U.S. Forest Service. 

In the Pennsylvania ORV distribution zone, the program currently uses the RABORAL V-RG® rabies wildlife vaccine.  However, despite historic and ongoing rabies management using this type of vaccine in Pennsylvania, rabies cases persist and contribute to a source of disease moving into neighboring Ohio. APHIS’ Wildlife Services (WS) has a strategic 5-year programmatic goal to eliminate raccoon rabies in Ohio.  In order to achieve this goal, it is critical to manage the disease more effectively in western Pennsylvania.  

Therefore, APHIS WS has prepared a supplemental EA analyzing the potential environmental impacts of expanding the ONRAB ORV program to include the Pennsylvania distribution zone in which the V-RG® vaccine is currently used.  The supplemental EA analyzes environmental issues with the ONRAB vaccine and field trial activities.  WS is making the supplemental EA available for public review and comment. 

You may submit comments at www.regulations.gov.  Enter APHIS-2019-0034 in the Search field.  Select the Documents tab, then select the Comment button in the list of documents.   The EA, Decision/FONSI, and comments we received may be viewed at https://www.regulations.gov by entering APHIS-2019-0034 in the Search field.  Comments will be accepted until August 6, 2021.



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