People working with animals who wish to get precautionary vaccines and inoculations will be informed by the council according to their exposure risk as soon as it has sufficient vaccines, it said, adding that any animal that is suspected of having rabies should be reported to the relevant local authority.
Taitung County officials said more than 10 cases of sudden Formosan ferret-badger deaths have been reported in Singchang Village in the past few days. County officials in charge of animal health visited the village yesterday to help vaccinate villagers’ pets.
Singchang Village Warden Lin Hsien-shen (林憲身) said he was also concerned that villagers may have eaten more ferret-badgers recently because they have been easier to catch.
Lin said residents of Singchang, where at least half the population are Aborigines, hunt the animal for food.
The Council of Indigenous Peoples said it plans to launch an information blitz in conjunction with other agencies to educate villagers in these regions on animal health and urge them not to eat ferret-badgers.
Chou Chin-cheng (周晉澄), dean of National Taiwan University’s School of Veterinary Medicine, said people cannot be infected if a ferret-badger with rabies is well-cooked, but they would be vulnerable if they have surface wounds while preparing the animal for cooking.