If you're walking around in the Montérégie woods this weekend and notice that it's raining green ravioli, don't worry, it's not the brownie you ate. Quebec's Ministry of Forests, Fauna, and Parks is planning to drop hundreds of thousands of green, ravioli-like treats from the sky for raccoon rabies prevention. While they might look delicious, you can't eat them as they are intended for wild animals.
On August 7 and 8, around 1,400 square-kilometres of Montérégie will be covered in 175,000 little green bait treats.
The treats contain a rabies vaccination formulated for raccoons, squirrels, skunks, foxes, and other small woodland creatures.
Resembling small ravioli, the green treats are intended to blend into the environment and attract critters with an irresistible smell.
They'll be difficult to spot if you're walking around and you should be careful if you're walking your dog.
While the treats are considered safe for humans, plants, and animals, the Ministry recommends careful handling of them if you stumble across one.
It also recommends contacting a veterinarian if your dog or cat ate the treat.
"It is very important to note that you cannot take for granted that your pet is immunized from rabies even if it has consumed a vaccine bait," said the Ministry.
Though mostly woodland areas will be covered with the treats, some will occasionally end up in residential areas where there might be lots of raccoons, skunks, and the like.
It's recommended that you throw out the treat in a leak-proof container if it ends up on your property.
Thirty-two municipalities in Montérégie will see airdropped treats this weekend, including Bedford, Hemmingford, Ormstown, Saint-Sébastien, and Brome-Missisquoi.
The province's rabies prevention plan has been in effect since 2006.
Thanks to those efforts, as of 2015, there have been no reported cases of rabies in raccoons.
If you or your animal accidentally come into contact with one of these treats, the Ministry says you should call Info-Santé or the number on the back of the bait packet and immediately wash your hands.