Rabies fear prompts NM to ban animal relocations

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A fear that a strain of rabies might spread from Arizona deeper into New Mexico has prompted New Mexico officials to prohibit releases of captured foxes and some other species back into the wild, resulting in those animals being killed instead.

The Albuquerque Journal (http://bit.ly/1aXfU5G) reports the ban on relocating so-called nuisance animals also applies to raccoons, skunks, coyotes, bats and some bobcats.

Wildlife health specialist Kerry Mower of the New Mexico Game and Fish Department says the ban imposed in June is a result of fears that Arizona fox rabies could spread from the southwest quadrant of New Mexico.

Mower says health officials don’t want it to reach the Rio Grande because that’s a wildlife corridor.

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