Rabies has been detected in three new, dead foxes. The animals were found in Ebeltofthamna in Krossfjorden, by Heleysundet between Barentsøya and Spitsbergen and at Vindodden.

Rabies has now been detected in four foxes and one reindeer since the beginning of May this year. Tests done on two foxes that were found in the Hornsund area are stil awaiting analysis. See the attached map.

 - We repeat that people should remain alert and notify the Governor if they observe fox or reindeer with atypical behaviour, or dead fox or reindeer, says Morten Wedege, Head of Environmental Protection at the Governor’s office.

Typical signs to look out for are aggression in foxes and paralysis in reindeer. The Governor would appreciate photos or recordings of sick animals, or animals behaving as mentioned above.

 We strongly advise people to take precautionary measures. Do not feed foxes. Dogs must be kept on a leash and not be left unsupervised. Additionally, we refer to the guidelines issued by the hospital in Longyearbyen, stating that everyone who plan to hunt reindeer and are not vaccinated, should undergo the vaccination regime before handling game.

Hunters/trappers or others who handle game and who have previously been vaccinated (two years or more since basic vaccination), should contact their physician in order to check that they are still protected by the vaccine. If the level of protection proves unsatisfactory, they should get vaccinated again before getting into contact with game.

The authorities will consider whether or not the confirmed cases of rabies will have consequences for the upcoming fox trapping season.

 

The Norwegian Food Safety Authority is the professional authority in this field.