The departments of Health Promotion and Protection and Natural Resources are preparing to conduct a fox trapping program in Mulgrave, Guysborough Co. Foxes collected during this program will be part of a precautionary rabies surveillance effort. In December 2007, several incidents of unusual fox behaviour were reported in the Mulgrave area, including attacks on domestic animals. After the incidents, two foxes were caught and tested positive for rabies. Canadian and United States rabies experts recommend increased surveillance to ensure that the disease has been contained. “At this point, we do not believe there are any more foxes with rabies in this area,” said Dr. Shelly Sarwal, medical officer of health for province. “This is simply a monitoring effort to ensure the health and safety of residents.” Rabies is a serious disease caused by a virus that primarily affects wild animals, such as bats. Sick animals can pass the disease to other wildlife, pets or humans in their saliva, mainly by biting. Throughout the next month, a trapper will be in the area setting up to 50 padded leg-hold traps. The traps will be monitored daily and are not dangerous to children or animals. “There is a possibility that pets could get caught in the traps, said Department of Natural Resources wildlife manager, Mike O’Brien. “As always, it is illegal to allow dogs to run at large in wildlife habitat. For the safety of pets and wildlife, we continue to recommend that residents watch all pets closely.” Even though rabies is rare in Nova Scotia, immunization remains the only way to guarantee animals are protected against the disease. That’s why all pet owners are encouraged to get their pets vaccinated. For more information about the trapping program, contact the Guysborough Natural Resources district office by phoning 902-533-3503. Residents may also call 1-800-565-2224 outside of regular office hours. For more information about rabies, visit www.gov.ns.ca/hpp/cdpc/rabies.asp .