NEW YORK (WCBS 880) There has not been a case of a raccoon with rabies in Suffolk County for nearly two years, and authorities want to keep it that way.

By air and by land, nearly 170,000 baits will be distributed across Suffolk County to prevent raccoons from being infected by rabies.

Suffolk County Executive Steve Levy describes the baits to WCBS 880 reporter Sophia Hall as having a fish meal coating that the raccoons are attracted to, but when they bite into the bait they get the rabies vaccine.

LISTEN: WCBS 880’s Sophia Hall reports

“The material that we use does not harm the animal but it has the substance that immunizes them and prevents the raccoons from getting rabies and spreading it to dogs or cats,” said Levy.

Levy says helicopters will release the baits over wooded areas, and the rest of the baits will be placed on the ground.

The program has cost the county $1.5 million over the past several years, says Levy.

“It’ll be worth it if we can eradicate rabies within our county,” said Levy.

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