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LOCKPORT – The Niagara County Health Department announced Friday it will take part in the distribution of a new type of raccoon rabies vaccine, starting Tuesday.

The program, covering 14 other states and Canada, will last through Aug. 31. It is the third year of field trials of the baits containing the vaccine, which will be dropped from aircraft or spread by hand.

The vaccine is in a plastic blister pack inside a coating made of sugars, vegetable fats, flavoring and green food coloring. The Health Department said humans and pets cannot contract rabies from contact with the vaccine pellets, but anyone who encounters one should leave it alone to increase the chance of it being consumed by raccoons. A dog who eats it won’t be harmed, the department said.

Anyone who does touch a bait should wash the contact area with soap and warm water and called the Health Department at 439-7444.