Many people in the "skunk community" believe that because there was a study done in Canada, that this mean the vaccine was approved in Canada. This is a misconception that we felt needed clearing up.
While there was a small study done in Canada to try to prove the effectiveness of the vaccine on skunks so that they could curb the increase of rabies in the wild, the study was too small to get the vaccine actually approved for use on domestic skunks.
The vaccine is being used OFF LABEL on skunks and raccoons in the wild. This is just to curb the spread of rabies in the country.
One of our board members met the person from Canada who actually performed the study. Here is what he had to say about the study.
Yes it is true that Imrab 3 (manufactured by Merial Inc) is not licensed for use in skunks (or any other wildlife species) in Canada.
Each year, the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources has to get approval from the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA), VBBS Section, Ottawa, to use Imrab 3 (off label use) to vaccinate skunks and raccoons against rabies. You can use this statement if you wish. If you would like something formal in writing that Imrab 3 is being used off label in Canada you would have to contact Dr. Donna Hutchings, CFIA, VBBS,59 Camelot Dr, Neapean, Ontario, K1A 0Y9 phone 613 225-2342 as they are the organization that approves off label use of vaccines. Hope this helps.
Rick Rosatte, Ph.D.
Senior Research Scientist
Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources
Wildlife Research and Development Section
Trent University, Science Complex, Rm 302
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