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S.D. rabies count jumps in 2009


PIERRE, S.D. (AP)--The number of animal rabies cases in South Dakota took a big jump in 2009 after five consecutive years of decline.

The state reported 53 cases last year, more than double the 24 rabies cases in 2008. Twenty-seven counties reported rabies, led by Lake County with six cases.

Rabies in the wild involved 31 skunks and four bats. The 18 cases in domestic animals involved seven dogs, four cats, four cattle, two horses and one goat.

Officials say the increase is a reminder of the importance of vaccinating pets, livestock or animals that have frequent contact with people such as horses.

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