What are the requirements for bait casings?

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Vaccine baits suitable for red foxes

They should be attractive to the target species, but if possible unattractive to the (most important) non-target species, including humans. An ideal bait casing should allow delivery of the vaccine into the oral cavity of the target species and should not interfere with vaccine efficacy.

Furthermore, it should be resistant to unfavourable storage and environmental conditions. Thermostability is important in the sense that the bait casing should remain intact when it is exposed to prevailing climatic conditions (no melting or cracking of bait). As most baits are distributed by air, the bait should be mechanically stable so that it does not fall apart when it hits the ground.

Water resistance is another important parameter; the bait should not dissolve upon contact with water. Ideally, at least during initial campaigns, the bait casing should contain a biomarker, i.e. tetracycline (TC), in sufficient amounts to allow bait uptake to be determined when ORV campaigns are monitored. Last but not least, the bait should be easy and cheap to produce.


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Version 1 - Last updated November 2012