Read about the rabies epidemic that caused the creation of ORVP and how the program continues to reduce cases and keep Texans safe.
About The Program
Since 1996, we’ve been working to end rabies in coyotes and gray foxes in South and West Central Texas. Once a year, airplanes drop an oral vaccine, with a bait attractant of fish oil and coated in fishmeal crumbles, on the targeted areas. The goal is to maintain a zone of vaccinated wildlife along the US-Mexico border to prevent the reintroduction of rabies. Extensive research in a wide variety of species has shown the vaccine to be very safe.
The Texas Department of State Health Services Zoonosis Control Branch completed the 2023 Oral Rabies Vaccination Program’s aerial distribution of oral rabies vaccine baits for wildlife on January 21st. The campaign distributed approximately 836,000 individual vaccine baits along parts of the Texas-Mexico border over a period of approximately two weeks. Target wildlife species include coyotes and gray foxes. Anyone finding one of the vaccine baits is encouraged to leave it alone as wildlife can smell the human scent. The vaccine will not hurt pets or livestock if they consume one of the vaccine baits; it cannot be used in domestic animals as a substitute for the rabies vaccine administered by a veterinarian. You should wash your hands with soap and water if you have skin contact with the liquid portion (vaccine); if you have an immunocompromising health condition, please inform your family physician immediately about your contact with a live vaccine. Contact with a vaccine bait should also be reported to the Zoonosis Control Branch by calling 1-877-722-6725 or 512-776-7676.
View the 2023 Distribution Zone
View the Daily Report for activities, distribution amounts, and distance flown daily
View participant photos from the January 2023 Campaign
View the ORVP brochure
Learn more about Rabies
Texas Oral Rabies Vaccination Program Photo Archives
Vaccines are typically dropped along the Southern border between the U.S. and Mexico.
The Oral Rabies Vaccination Program will again be offering approved continuing education (CE) hours for sanitarians and animal control officers.
Get In Touch
Infectious Disease Prevention Section
Mail Code: 1927
PO BOX 149347
Austin, TX 78714-9347
100 West 49th Street, Suite G40
Austin, TX 78714