Natural Resources rabies
scam uncovered by wildlife
Deadly for wildlife!
Abusive of taxpayers dollars!
Puts human and wildlife health
Monday, February 14, 2005: For the last 4 years the
Ministry of Natural Resources has persecuted wildlife rehabilitation
organizations in Ontario allegedly to “…protect human health from
the deadly disease of rabies” and the health of wildlife
It makes no sense. Why would the Ministry attack a group of
volunteers who rehabilitate orphaned and injured wildlife from their
own funds and public donations? Why would the Ministry unfairly
target rehabilitators who have the animals in their care immunized,
seen by veterinarians, and released only at the optimal time? Why
would the Ministry go after a group of dedicated people who will
take in orphaned and injured wildlife from members of the public who
find these animals, therefore assisting in the protection of human
Why, with the professed concern about human and wildlife health,
does the Ministry only target wildlife rehabilitation and not the
commercial wildlife removal companies who annually trap and relocate
tens of thousands of adult animals without regard for the state of
The Ministry’s bloated rabies programme: The Ontario Wildlife
Coalition asserts that with limited tax dollars and a province
facing serious programme cuts, the Ministry is doing everything in
its power to protect its bloated and unwarranted rabies budget.
What are the costs of rabies research in Ontario?:
- It is conservatively estimated that over $35 million dollars
has been spent on rabies research, testing and control in Ontario
in just the last four years alone. This incredible amount of
money has been spent because a small but determined group of
Canadian and United States scientists have propelled rabies into
a thriving “industry”, in spite of the fact that rabies
represents one of the lowest public health risks in North America
- The rabies “industry” is made up of government
scientists and academics, plus vaccine and bait manufacturers who
have grown dependent on millions of dollars of public funds each
year. But to keep this funding flowing, the Ministry must convince
the public that rabies is a major health threat
What are the health risks from rabies?
Rabies is the lowest health risk of any disease in North America
as demonstrated below:
- Rabies is not considered to be a risk in North America
(Map available upon request or on the Animal Alliance web site at www.animalalliance.ca). The lack of risk is attributed to pet
vaccinations, public education and adequate post-exposure treatment
being available, in the very rare case where a person is bitten by a
raccoon or skunk.
- The lack of risk is demonstrated by the fact that only
one person has died of raccoon rabies since the disease was
discovered over fifty years ago. This is in spite of the fact that
there have been thousands of positive-tested animals in densely
human populated areas in the U.S. over many years.
- To put the virtually non-existent rabies risk in
perspective, consider that 63 people die from lightning strikes and
40 or more die from hornet and wasp stings annually in the U.S.
Why does the Ministry’s persecution of wildlife rehabilitation
have to do with rabies research spending?
- Everything. After all, it is hard to depict
baby raccoons, bats, skunks, squirrels and foxes being cared for
within wildlife rehabilitation programs, without the animals ever
having presented a risk, as a deadly threat to human health.
- It becomes impossible for the Ministry to
perpetuate the irrational political fear-mongering about the
threat of rabies so desperately needed to shore up its
multi-million dollar rabies budget when faced with rehabilitators
who educate politicians and members of the public to appreciate
and respect wildlife, not fear it.
No one is suggesting doing nothing about rabies. On the contrary,
the promotion of pet vaccinations, public education and wildlife
rehabilitation programs for people seeking help for wildlife are the
progressive and cost-effective measures needed, not irrational
fear-mongering, the denial of help for wildlife and the unchecked
spending to support the ambitions of career scientists.
For further information please call Liz White, Animal Alliance
416-809-4371(cell), Donna DuBrueil, 613-282-3755(cell) Paul
Harris 519-232-1110(h) or 519-495-0160(cell) and Barry MacKay
905-472-9731(p) or visit the Animal Alliance web site at
www.animalalliance.ca or Wildlife Ontario at www.wildlifeontario.ca.