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The test for animal movement

The Viro Vet Diagnostik UG at the Institute of Virology is approved for the detection of antibodies against rabies virus for the import/export of dogs and cats issued by the responsible authorities of most importing countries. This also includes testing for import to the United States of America (CDC)

Before testing
A prerequisite for the import of dogs, cats and ferrets is an unequivocal identification of the animals. The labelling has to take place before vaccination against rabies.
Afterwards the animal has to be vaccinated against rabies with an in the exporting country approved vaccine (corresponding to WHO/OIE standards). The animal must be 12 weeks or older by the first vaccination. Although a single vaccination is accepted for travel purposes we strongly recommend a second vaccination, a so called booster about 4 weeks after the first one to increase the chance of an antibody titre equal or above 0,5 IU/ml.
Between vaccination and blood sampling a certain time period is determined. The period can vary from country to country, for entering EU it's generally 30 days. A period of 3 months is also determined between date of blood sampling and date of entering EU. This is grounded in the long incubation time of rabies virus. It is also possible that animals have been vaccinated after a natural infection and therefore come down with rabies.

The blood sample
An authorized veterinarian has to draw the blood sample and process it to serum (about 0,5). The sample should be sent to our laboratory accompanied by a fully filled-out application form. All samples have to be labeled unequivocally, this means data on the vial and application form must match (e.g. pet's name or microchip number).

Sample shipment
Germany / EU
Sera for rabies antibody testing can be shipped by general post or courier service as „Freigestelltes Veterinärmedizinisches Untersuchungsmaterial (exempted veterinary sample material)“.

Non-European countries
VVD has an import permit ("Einfuhrgenehmigung") for sample material of dogs and cats for rabies antibody testing. According to EU-regulations the import permit must be attached to the outside of the package.
Furthermore the following decaration is important (can be written on the airway bill and / or pro forma invoice for customs declaration):
"Non-infectious serum sample (dog or cat) for titration of rabies antibodies according to the EU regulation on movement of pet animals at an approved laboratory".

According to information provided by customs in Germany, the serum samples for the detection of antibodies against the rabies virus are "test goods without commercial value" according to Article 95 et seq. of the Customs Exemption Ordinance. For this reason, we ask you not to enclose a pro forma invoice with the samples, but to indicate the declaration "test goods without commercial value" when shipping.

We also recommend to use the incoterm "Delivery at Place" (DAP).

Please note that costs can accrue at customs declaration or border inspection if the shipment was not created with all necessary details. Our laboratory does not cover any of these costs. To ensure a prompt processing of the samples, the shipment should declared with "Duty, Taxes Paid" service (DTP). If this is not the case VVD reserves its right to refuse the receiving. For that case the carrier is forced to retour the shipment.
The test
All samples are tested by Fluorescent Antibody Virus Neutralization (FAVN) test according to regulations of World Organisation for Animal Health (O.I.E.) untersucht. It's performed twice a week (mon, wed) and takes 48 hours.
If an antibody titre of 0,5 IU/ml or above could be n´measured, a certificate is issued and sent to the sending veterinarian (b/w copy by e-mail / fax in advance is possible). Report can be sent directly to pet owner if indicated on the application form . The test result has to be confirmed by the veterinarian (inscription in vaccination passport or travel document).
Is the titer below the required 0.5 IU/ml, vaccination and testing have to repeated (including the required time periods). The validity of a certificates lasts the whole animals life if following vaccinations have been done within the manufacturer's determined time interval. Otherwise the test has to be repeated.

Digital Certificates
On request, we can create digitally signed certificates and send them by e-mail (please specify in the submission form). The digital signature corresponds to a so-called "advanced signature" according to the EU Signature Directive and national legislation. The authenticity of the signature is guaranteed by our contractual partner GobalSign®. Please note that digitally signed certificates can no longer be changed. For this reason, before the final issuance, you will receive a sample of the certificate for information and confirmation. For this service we charge EUR 5,- plus tax.

Information about costs can be found in our price list. In principle only the sending veterinarian will be inoiced.
Payments can be made in cash or after receiving an (in advance) invoice by bank transfer or PayPal. If you want to pay using PayPal, please let us know. We will then send you a PayPal link to your submission. Credit cards / cheques can't be accepted. Please note that any extra fees have to be covered by the clients.