Welcome to the OAVT Rabies Response Program (RRP) Public Health Unit (PHU) Portal
This PHU webpage has been designed for public health unit staff in Ontario who require rabies specimen testing. The OAVT RRP works closely with all of Ontario's 36 PHUs to provide the service of rabies specimen collections and shipment for testing at the CFIA laboratory utilizing highly skilled Registered Veterinary Technicians.
For questions or concerns regarding rabies specimen submission, the OAVT RRP is available Monday - Friday 8:30am-4:30pm (not including holidays) and can be reached at
1-844-872-2437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Although submission requests are accepted online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, rabies specimen submission requests completed after hours will be processed on the next working day.
Submission Request Criteria
The OAVT RRP RVT Team collects and ships samples from animal hospitals, animal shelters, zoos, animal rescue and rehabilitation centers, farms, crematoriums and private residences.
Prior to submitting your request please ensure that the animal being tested is confirmed deceased and has arrived at the collection location.
If a collection is to occur at a residence the PHU should ensure the following prior to submitting a collection request:
- There is an area out of public view for the collection to take place
- The homeowner approves of the collection occurring on their property
- The homeowner understands the collection procedure
- The homeowner understands it is their responsibility to dispose of the remains afterwards
- The homeowner has a fridge or freezer where the animal can be stored until collection occurs when outdoor temperatures exceed five degrees celsius
If this criteria cannot be met the animal should be transported to an animal hospital or shelter prior to placing a submission request.
Submit A Request For Rabies Specimen Collection
The OAVT RRP in collaboration with the Ministry of Health and Long Term Care (MOHLTC) and the Canadian Wildlife Health Co-Operative (CWHC), will provide additional collection and shipping services for dRIT testing for rabies vector species (raccoon, skunk, fox, coyote and bats) and feral cats that have no known human/animal exposure and are suspicious of having rabies.
Prior to submitting a request for these specimens, PHU staff should contact the MNRF Rabies Hotline (1-888-574-6656) to ensure they are given the first opportunity to test the animal. Please note: MNRF does not provide testing for feral cats or bats.
To submit a case for this enhanced surveillance, please click on the image above that says "Click here to enter your request for NON human/animal exposures", complete the fillable word document, save a copy and then email it to email@example.com.
Return of Test Results
Exposures involving humans:
Once shipped via Purolator, and received at the CFIA Laboratory (Ottawa, ON or Lethbridge, AB), the sample results should arrive to the PHU within 72 hours. In many cases results return the same day as arrival at the laboratory. Please note: samples that arrive frozen may take longer to receive results.
Emailed results are sent to your predesignated PHU email address specified by your Rabies Program Manager. Samples that are positive or unfit will first be called to the PHU contact (as indicated on your submission form) by the CFIA before being sent by email.
Learn more about Rabies Fluorescent Antibody Testing (FAT)
Once shipped via Purolator, and received by the CWHC laboratory (Guelph, ON), the sample's preliminary results are processed and emailed to your predesignated PHU email address specified by your Rabies Program Manager in approximately 2-3 weeks. To determine your results go to the section named "Test Results"-> "Rabies Initial Testing Method-dRIT"->"Test Result." The CWHC will send a copy of the final results at a later date after all other ancillary testing has been completed. If the specimen was dRIT positive, tissue will also be sent to the CFIA lab for confirmation by FAT. Results will be returned by the CFIA to the PHU email address.
Learn more about Rabies Direct Rapid Immunohistochemistry Testing (DRIT)
OAVT RRP Service
Once the online Specimen Collection Request Information Form is completed, and the OAVT RRP receives your request, the OAVT RRP will provide the following services:
- Arranging the dispatch of a qualified RVT to the specimen collection location within one business day.
- Emailing back confirmation of receipt of submission request to PHU.
- Emailing the name of the collecting RVT and the date/time the collection is arranged for to the PHU
- Notifying the collection location of the arrangements.
- Complete all necessary paperwork to package and ship the sample for the RRP RVT
- Providing the PHU with email confirmation of shipment
- Arranging the return of test results to you from the CFIA
Information Sheets for PHU staff
Information Sheets to Share With Veterinary Staff
Information Sheets to Share with Animal/Property Owners
RRP Rabies Public Portal
The OAVT RRP Rabies Public Portal webpage has been designed to share rabies related information with the general public.
If you are looking for somewhere to refer your clients for more information about rabies, finding a veterinarian or local rabies vaccination clinics please share our website www.mypetsprotected.org
Rabies Vaccine Clinic Listings Page
The OAVT RRP has launched a listing page of Rabies Vaccine Clinics in Ontario. If you have been notified of a Rabies Vaccine Clinic in your area and would like to have it listed please contact firstname.lastname@example.org using the subject line "Rabies Vaccine Clinic Listing."
In your email please include the following info:
- Location name
- Vaccine clinic date & time
- Cost and method of payment accepted
- Special instructions
- Additional comments
- PHU area
- pdf or jpg of event poster
The RRP has launched the Rabies Public Portal with information geared towards the general public. Please feel free to share this with your clients.
Looking for more information about rabies? Visit our Rabies Resources page.
The "Rabies Insider" is a seasonal newsletter designed for PHU staff. Submission tips and rabies information brought to your email inbox quarterly to help you with your rabies specimen submissions.