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ANTI-RABIES UNIT (ARU)

The vampire bat has been identified as the vector of paralytic rabies in Trinidad.  The principal focus of the Anti-Rabies Unit is to conduct activities that result in the alleviation of the threat to the livestock industry and to human health posed by vampire bats and other possible wildlife vectors of rabies. There are two species of vampire bats indigenous to Trinidad, the Common Vampire bat Desmodus rotundus (https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Desmodus_rotundus/)  and the White-winged Vampire bat Diaemus youngi (https://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Diaemus_youngi/). These bats are the only species of bats listed as vermin in the Conservation of Wildlife Act (https://agriculture.gov.tt/publications/conservation-of-wild-life-act-67-01 /).

 

The objectives of the Anti-rabies Unit includes:

  1. To monitor and control populations of vampire bats in Trinidad
  2. To contain outbreaks of paralytic rabies on the island
  3. To reduce the incidence of paralytic rabies cases in animals and humans and;
  4. To monitor populations of non-vampire bat species

 

ORGANIZATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE ANTI-RABIES UNIT

To afford an effective island-wide rabies control programme, there is a division of the Trinidad into four distinct management areas, each covered by a designated ARU Subunit.  These districts covered are as follows:

  1. Northwest Subunit- covers the counties of Caroni and St. George excluding the districts of Talparo, Guanapo and Arima east of the Blanchisseuse Road.
  2. Northeast Subunit – covers the counties of St Andrews, St David and in St George, the districts of Talparo, Guanapo and Arima east of the Blanchisseuse Road.
  3. Southwest Subunit – covers the counties of St Patrick and Victoria excluding the district of Tableland.
  4. Southeast Subunit – covers the counties of Nariva, Mayaro and the district of Tableland in county Victoria.

 

ACTIVITIES OF THE ANTI-RABIES UNIT

The activities of the ARU include the following:

  1. Development and implementation of vampire bat population control and population monitoring programmes to prevent or limit the spread of paralytic rabies
  2. Investigation of bat biting incidents in domestic animals and humans
  3. Periodic collection of animal and farm census data
  4. Investigation of suspected and confirmed paralytic rabies cases in domestic animals
  5. Provision of assistance to field veterinarians with respect to rabies vaccination programs
  6. Provision of advice to the public on the control of bat infestations of public and private buildings
  7. Monitoring the status of non-vampire bat species and collection of ecological data
  8. Development and implementation of public awareness programmes on bats and rabies

If you need to make a report or require further information you can contact the Anti-Rabies Unit at the National Animal Disease Centre (Tel: 693-1682/693-1501 or make a report to the following Animal Health Offices:

How to access this service

If you need to make a report or require further information you can contact the Anti-Rabies Unit at the National Animal Disease Centre (Tel: 693-1682/693-1501 or make a report to the following Animal Health Offices: