Compatibility Determinations

Rabies Oral Vaccination Program Compatibility Determination

Public Comments Requested on Proposal to Conduct an Oral Vaccination Program to Control Rabies in Raccoons 

The U.S. Department of Agriculture Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Wildlife Services is working with various agencies including the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, and the Cape Cod Rabies Task Force, to eliminate the raccoon rabies strain on peninsular Cape Cod. They to deploy bait stations within the Mashpee National Wildlife Refuge which contain oral rabies vaccination (ORV) baits. Bait would be deployed twice annually, most likely in the spring and fall. Non-lethal post-ORV trapping is conducted after baiting has ended to evaluate the success in vaccinating raccoons, skunks, foxes, and coyotes, which are all target species.

In order to allow this use on lands owned by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service that are in the Mashpee refuge, refuge staff must find the use to be an appropriate compatible use and then issue a Special Use Permit. A compatible use is one which does not materially interfere with or detract from the purpose of the refuge.

Detailed information about the program is provided in the draft compatibility determination, which is available for public review and comment below. The comment period will be open from September 20, 2013 to October 4, 2013. Comments may be sent to Libby Herland, Refuge Manager at 73 Weir Hill Road, Sudbury, MA 01776, by fax at 978-443-2898, or by email at

Download the Draft Oral Vaccination Program Compatibility Determination (pdf)