Rabies Testing

Biobest are the main provider of rabies testing in the UK. Our laboratory has been providing this service since the launch of the original Pet Travel Scheme in 1999. We accept samples from customers worldwide and have developed our service to ensure that all customers are provided with an outstanding service at a highly competitive price.

Scientists examining plates

The quality of our rabies testing service is second to none. Biobest routinely participate in the proficiency testing scheme for rabies testing which is organised by the world reference laboratory and have always achieved excellent results compared to other laboratories.

We offer the internationally recognised FAVN rabies test (sometimes referred to as a RNATT test) which is accepted for pet travel throughout the world.

Submitting Samples

UK

Biobest accept samples directly from UK veterinary practices and by referral from other UK laboratories for rabies testing. UK pet owners can submit samples directly, however due to the extra administrative work involved when processing samples from non-account customers, the price is higher. Our admin and veterinary teams are happy to provide advice and feedback on results and individual cases.

For UK customers our rabies serology test is £66 per sample and the standard turnaround time is 5-7 working days from sample receipt.
Click here for our UK Submission form.

International

Biobest accept samples for rabies testing from overseas customers and have long-standing relations with veterinary practices and pet travel companies worldwide. Our administrative team are experienced in guiding international customers through the submission process to minimise the risk of complications.

International customers have the option of paying for testing individually or setting up an account to be invoiced monthly when multiple submissions are expected. VAT will be charged when applicable to the country that results are to be returned to.

For overseas customers our rabies serology test is £71 per sample and the standard turnaround time is 5-7 working days from sample receipt. We also offer an express service for customers who require urgent results.

For ease we have all the required paperwork, instructions and submission forms available in a single download. Click here to download.

Due to the additional work involved in processing overseas samples, there are different prices for UK and overseas customers.

 

Postage & Packaging Instructions for Sending Samples

UK

Samples should be appropriately packaged and sent with a FULLY COMPLETED UK Rabies Submission Form.  Customers can use Royal Mail, DX/Legal Post or a courier service of your choice. We are happy to provide UK customers with pre-paid boxes or labels.

International

Samples should be packaged in accordance with PI650 and sent with a FULLY COMPLETED Overseas Rabies Submission Form.  For samples coming from overseas, spun serum is preferable to whole blood.  Customers can use the courier service of their choice, however be aware we have experienced issues in past with samples sent using FedEx.   Please be aware that incomplete paperwork, failure to include the necessary information on the package exterior or incorrectly completed waybill forms are likely to lead to customs delays and possible extra charges. Should Biobest incur any additional banking, postal or customs charges in order to receive samples these will, in all cases, be passed on to the customer along with an additional admin fee. Results will not be released until we receive full payment for any additional charges incurred.

Please ensure that your package is clearly marked with the following information, this should ensure your package reaches us without any problems.

  • Import License numbers: (Scottish airports: TARP(S)2021/38, English airports: ITIMP21.1521)
  • Canine/feline serum samples, no commercial value.
  • Animal diagnostic specimens - not restricted.
  • Packed in compliance with IATA packing instructions 650.
  • Country of origin: (your country)

Our overseas submission form contains the full import permit so does not need to be downloaded separately, however if you do wish to download them separately, you can do so here:

Receiving Your Results

  • A testing certificate which is reviewed and signed by one of our veterinary surgeons.
  • Results reported as ‘Pass’ or ‘Fail’ along with an antibody titre in iu/ml.
  • Pre-treatment and re-testing of any samples which are toxic on the original test. Some samples we receive may be toxic to the cell cultures used in our test. However, our years of experience in veterinary virology allows us to test samples which other laboratories may reject (e.g. haemolysed or lipaemic samples). Where necessary we can treat toxic samples prior to retesting which enables us to get results for >99% of the samples we receive. Such treatment inevitably leads to delays in reporting such samples. All rabies express samples are pre-treated to remove toxicity prior to testing which helps maximise the chances of obtaining results in 2-3 working days. Our administrative team are happy to provide help and support for clients sending samples. This can include advice on taking and shipping samples, receiving results, completing paperwork, dealing with courier problems etc.
  • Our experienced vet team are happy to discuss any test results and provide advice in the case of animals which have failed to achieve the necessary protective level of immunity.

Rabies Express

This service is designed specifically for urgent samples and aims to achieve a maximum turnaround time of 3 working days from sample receipt (in the majority of cases the turnaround time will be 2 working days). In order to achieve this turnaround time any samples using this service:

  • Are prioritized on the first available test (or depending on the day of receipt an additional test will be set up for express samples).
  • Are pre-treated to minimize the risk of toxicity or contamination (which can cause delays for routine samples).
  • Are read and reported as soon as possible after the test is set up.

Customers also benefit from the following enhanced reporting service:

  • We will call or e-mail to confirm receipt of your sample and give you a guide as to when your results will be available.
  • pdf copies of test certificates will be e-mailed to you as soon as they are available.
  • We will phone to give you the results

Original certificates will be sent by guaranteed next day delivery (UK customers only. Overseas customers will receive their original certificate via international mail, we can arrange to get certificates sent by courier but this will incur additional charges).

The cost for the express service is higher than for standard rabies testing (consult our price list for current price). In the unlikely event that we fail to meet our expected turnaround time of 2-3 working days we will only charge the standard rabies testing price.  Our standard rabies testing offers an average turnaround time of 5-7 working days which we believe is still the best service available in the UK, however, the 'Rabies Express' service should give you peace of mind when results are required in a hurry . If you wish to take advantage of this new service please contact the office when submitting your sample so we can ensure it gets priority treatment.

Please note that the rabies laboratory undergoes an annual period of maintenance, usually in July. The laboratory has to be shut down during maintenance (which typically lasts for 1 week) and during these periods our 'Rabies Express' service will not be available. We will provide prior notice of any maintenance shutdowns on our website and social media channels so that customers can plan accordingly.

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