U.S. Department of Agriculture: Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service


Date of this Version

Spring 2014


Anderson, A., S.A. Shwiff, R.B. Chipman, T. Atwood, T. Cozzens, F. Fillo, R. Hale, B. Hatch, J. Maki, O.E. Rhodes, E.E. Rees, C.E. Rupprecht, R. Tinline, K.C. VerCauteren, and D. Slate. Forecasting the spread of raccoon rabies using a purpose-specific group decision-making process. 2014. Human-Wildlife Interactions 8(1):130-138.


The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and USDA Wildlife Services (WS) have been involved in an oral rabies vaccination (ORV) program for raccoons (Procyon lotor) that has slowed the westward spread of raccoon rabies. The objective of this study was to forecast the spread of the disease if an ORV zone was not maintained. A group decision-making process was designed to address the forecasting problem and was implemented using a group of 15 experts and 4 support personnel at a meeting at the USDA National Wildlife Research Center. Ten expansion regions were constructed that described the spread of disease at 2-year intervals. This forecast may provide for more accurate cost-benefit analysis of the ORV barrier.