If you find a RABORAL V-RG bait unit, leave it alone. If a bait is found in your yard, driveway, street or other area that is not a suitable wildlife habitat, you should contact your local public health officials at 1-877-RABORAL (1-877-722-6725). A person under 18 years of age or who is pregnant or immuno-suppressed should not touch the RABORAL V-RG bait. Call Boehringer Ingelheim Veterinary Technical Solutions (1-888-637-4251 Option 1, then 4) with further questions.
Oral Rabies Vaccine for Wildlife
RABORAL V-RG is an oral rabies vaccine sold only to government agencies to prevent the spread of rabies in wildlife. Each liquid vaccine dose is contained within a plastic sachet and coated with a fishmeal attractant.
RABORAL V-RG is licensed in the United States for use in raccoons and coyotes. It has also been used experimentally in other wildlife species.
This recombinant vaccine is highly specialized and safe. it has been tested in more than 60 non-target species. The recombinant virus contains only one genetic element (i.e., gene) of the rabies virus so the vaccine will not cause rabies.
RABORAL V-RG immunizes the raccoon or coyotes during the eating process. The virus contacts tissues inside the animals mouth and initiates an immune response against rabies. In approximately 14 days the animal will be vaccinated against rabies.
The vaccine is a live virus and human contact with the liquid content of the sachet should be avoided.
Prevention of rabies in wildlife requires significant expertise. For this reason, RABORAL V-RG is licensed for use only by government agencies, and is not available to the general public. The product is recommended for the oral vaccination of raccoons or coyotes against disease caused by pathogenic rabies virus. The vaccine is restricted for use in state or federal rabies control programs.
A wildlife rabies program requires the development and funding of long-term goals and commitment of significant resources. There are examples of successful wildlife rabies programs listed on the Resources page of this website.
Depending on where you live, various factors determine how and when oral rabies vaccination (ORV) programs are conducted. To learn if your state is involved in an active wildlife rabies control program, please see the government links on the Resources page on this website for contact information.
Control and use of RABORAL V-RG rests with the sponsoring agency, which has the responsibility to define conditions for proper use.
Assessment of such factors as target species population, baiting densities, competitive species, environmental conditions, habitat, methods and frequency of distribution, public awareness, safety procedures and any appropriate parameters is the responsibility of the sponsoring state or federal agency.
Bait units containing the vaccine are most often distributed by airplane, helicopter or by hand to reach the target species.
The location and number of baits used each year depend on the severity of the outbreak and the specific public health official’s goals for their rabies control efforts.
Radio messages, TV announcements and posters are used in communities to alert citizens of upcoming baiting programs.
For additional information, see our Rabies Education and Resources page.
Safety Data Sheets
The RABORAL V-RG bait unit contains a liquid, live-virus recombinant vaccine. To maximize bait uptake by wildlife, it is important that you do not disturb the bait units. If the bait is found in a residential area, or you or your pet contacts the bait, please call this toll-free number
(1-877-RABORAL or 1-877-722-6725) to be routed to your local rabies control program office for more information.
The RABORAL V-RG vaccine has been safety tested in more than 60 species. The vaccine cannot cause rabies. Even so, do what you can to avoid direct contact with the liquid vaccine inside the bait. If your pet has eaten a bait or you have contact with the liquid vaccine, call BI Veterinary Technical Solutions (1-888-637-4251 Option 1, then 4) to report an adverse event.
Fighting Rabies from the Air
The use of rabies vaccines have made the disease uncommon among U.S. pets, but wild animals with rabies still pose a threat. “What most people probably don’t realize is that the potential threat of rabies could exist in their backyard, and that is through wildlife,” says Jordona Kirby, rabies field coordinator with the USDA. Fly along with a crew to see how — and why –– they fight rabies from the air.
RABORAL V-RG Frequently Asked Questions
What if I find a bait unit?
Can this vaccine be used to vaccinate my dog or cat against rabies?
No, only rabies vaccines administered by veterinarians are considered to be proof of vaccination. The wildlife oral vaccine will not harm your dog or cat, but the vaccine does not replace conventional rabies vaccines. RABORAL V-RG has been licensed tested for safety in numerous domestic species (dog, cat, cattle) and was proven to be safe.
What if my dog or cat eats a bait unit?
Since the bait units are manufactured to attract wild animals, they might also attract dogs and cats. The bait itself is made of fishmeal and other materials and does not contain vaccine; the vaccine is in the polymer sachet. Most domestic cats cannot penetrate the polymer bait, thus rarely eat the vaccine container. Remember, you should never attempt to take a bait away from your pet, as you may be bitten. Should your pet eat the RABORAL V-RG bait unit in its entirety, it has been demonstrated safe in more than 50 species of animals including dogs. Please note that if your pet has eaten a bait unit, this is not considered to be a vaccination. Please consult your veterinarian for your pet’s vaccination needs.
Can I use the product for wildlife in my yard?
RABORAL V-RG can only be purchased and used by government agencies responsible for rabies control in a given county, parish, state or country. State departments of health or other federal agencies determine the locations where the bait units are used each year in their efforts to control rabies in a specific area.
Is RABORAL V-RG being used in my area?
Areas baited each year in a federal or state program are determined by public health officials based on the number of rabies cases and in association with regional rabies control efforts. To learn if Oral Rabies Vaccination (ORV) programs are in your area or planned for the future, contact your local department of health or state veterinary office.
How does distribution work and how widespread is it?
In open or rural areas, the most efficient way to vaccinate wild animals is to drop bait units from low-flying planes or helicopters. In urban or suburban areas, greenways or other areas visited by wild animals, bait units are distributed by authorized and trained personnel.
In the United States, more than five million doses of RABORAL V-RG vaccine are used each year. Since 2008, more than 125 million doses have been distributed around the world.1
Have more questions?
Send us a message with your questions, comments or suggestions about controlling rabies in wildlife in your area.
1 Data on file at Boehringer Ingelheim.
RABORAL V-RG® is a registered trademark of the Boehringer Ingelheim Group. ©2022 Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health USA Inc., Duluth, GA. All Rights Reserved. US-MSP-0002-2022