Welcome to the OAVT Rabies Response Program (RRP) Public Health Unit (PHU) Portal

This webpage has been designed for Public Health Unit (PHU) staff in Ontario who require rabies specimen testing. The Ontario Association of Veterinary Technicians Public Health Rabies Response Program (OAVT RRP) works closely with all of Ontario’s PHUs to provide the service or rabies specimen collections and shipment for testing at laboratories utilizing highly skilled Registered Veterinary Technicians (RVTs).

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 rrp@oavt.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.

Please ensure all specimens are stored cold (refrigerated, frozen or packed on ice) to ensure the preservation of the sample.

Rabies testing requires fresh brain tissue. If they specimen is old, dried out, been sitting in the heat for a prolonged period of time and/or infested with bugs please contact the OAVT RRP (rrp@oavt.org or 1-844-872-2437) first to determine if the specimen is testable. 

Rabies Testing Facilitated through the OAVT RRP

Rabies Suspect Animals With Human Exposure:

The OAVT RRP in partnership with the Ministry of Health (MOH) facilitates the collection and shipping of both wild and domestic animal rabies specimens (including livestock) with WHO Rabies Exposure Categories II and III to the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) Laboratories for Fluorescent Antibody Testing (FAT). 

If your form has been submitted successfully you will see a confirmation page and receive a confirmation email once submitted.

Note: The CFIA indicates that results will be returned within 72 hours of arrival that the laboratory. In most cases we see results returned within 24 hours.

Rabies Suspect Animals With No Human/Animal Exposure:

The Ministry of Health, OAVT Rabies Response Program, and the Canadian Wildlife Health Cooperative work in partnership to provide Direct Rapid Immunohistochemistry Testing (DRIT) testing of wild animals (raccoons, skunks, foxes, coyotes, bats, feral cats) displaying clinical signs of rabies but have had no human or animal exposure.  While bats can be tested, the main focus of this program is wild terrestrial animals. This rabies surveillance program is voluntary for Ontario Public Health Units to participate in and provides the opportunity for animals to be tested that do not qualify for testing through the normal routes due to lack of human or animal exposure and falling outside of the MNRF’s enhanced surveillance zones.

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. If the MNRF is not interested in testing the animal you can proceed to submit a case for this enhanced surveillance to the OAVT RRP.

If your form has been submitted successfully you will see a confirmation page and receive a confirmation email once submitted.

Note: The CWHC indicates that results may take approximately 1 month to return.

Service Provided By The OAVT RRP  

Once the OAVT RRP receives your request, the OAVT RRP staff will provide the following services:

  • Email confirmation of receipt of submission request to PHU.
  • Arrange the dispatch of a qualified RVT to the specimen collection location within one business day.
  • Provide the name of the collecting RVT and the date/time the collection is arranged for to the PHU
  • Notify the collection location of the arrangements for collection.
  • Complete all necessary paperwork to package and ship the sample.
  • Provide the PHU with email confirmation of the specimen’s shipment to the lab.
  • Track the shipment while on route to the lab to ensure it arrives at its destination.
  • Arrange the return of test results to the PHU’s rabies results dedicated email address from the testing lab.

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 Resources

Looking for more technical information about rabies? Visit our  Rabies Resources page.

The “Rabies Insider”

A seasonal newsletter designed for PHU staff.

Highlighting rabies specimen submission tips and rabies information quarterly throughout the year to assist you with your rabies specimen submissions. Click here to check our our archived issues.



Are you having an upcoming rabies vaccine clinic in your PHU area? We want to know about it!
The OAVT RRP hosts and maintains the Rabies Vaccine Clinic in Ontario webpage along with it’s sister Facebook page Rabies Vaccine Clinic Listings Ontario, Canada. These pages offer Ontario residents a place to view all upcoming rabies vaccine clinics in one place.
To have your rabies vaccine clinic listed please email us at rrp@oavt.org

In this section

RRP Info Sheets For Animal/ Property Owners


OAVT RRP Rabies Vaccine Clinic Listings Pages

If you have been notified of an upcoming rabies vaccine clinic in your PHU area please let us know so that we can include it on our Rabies Vaccine Clinics in Ontario webpage as well as the Rabies Vaccine Clinic Listings, Ontario, Canada Facebook page.

Email the following details to rrp@oavt.org

  • Vaccine Clinic Location Name
  • Vaccine Clinic Date & Time
  • Cost & Method of Payment Accepted
  • Special Instructions
  • Additional Comments

Please include an event poster in JPEG, PNG or PDF format.

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