1.5 Why can we not use the same rabies control strategy for all wildlife rabies reservoirs?

Given the large number of carnivorous rabies reservoir species (see 1.4), a rabies control strategy (e.g. oral rabies vaccination) that works for one wildlife reservoir species may not necessarily work for others. This could be due to ecological differences in animal species (social structure, regional abundance, behaviour), immunological disparities (differences in vaccine efficacy, immune response), food spectrum and preference (bait attractiveness) or feeding habits (bait design). As a result of intra-specific differences in the behavioural ecology of fox species in different geographic areas there is not a single fox rabies control strategy available and as a result every strategy will have to be adapted and optimised for the local situation.

However, there are key elements that apply to any control strategy independent of the wild reservoir as regards rabies surveillance, planning of ORV, study of reservoir biology, quality assurance and monitoring (see Operational activities).

Because it is difficult to only target rabies control in wildlife without considering the risk of infection to domestic animals living in the same area, rabies control always requires an integrated approach.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012