Euthanasia of Specimens for Rabies Testing

All specimens for rabies testing must be deceased before a specimen collection is requested. In an effort to help direct Ontario Public Health Units and the general public to the proper resources to provide euthanasia the following information was compiled.

Domestic Animals & Livestock

If livestock/domestic animals require euthanasia the animal owner should be advised to contact their regular veterinarian to arrange for euthanasia. If the animal owner does not have a regular veterinarian they can be referred to visit The College of Veterinarians of Ontario online to search for a local Veterinarian or call 1 (800) 424-2856.


If a wild animal requires euthanasia the property owner should be advised to contact the following:

  • Local Municipal Animal Control Service This can be found by contacting your local City /Town Hall offices.
  • Local SPCA Branch by phone 1-888-668-7722 or online at
  • Private Licensed Wildlife Control Company They can be found by searching the yellow pages of your telephone book under “Animal Control” or “Wildlife Control” or by contacting the Ontario Fur Managers Federation at (705) 254-3338 or online at
  • Licensed Wildlife Rehabilitator These can be found online by visiting the Ministry of Northern Development, Mines Natural Resources and Forestry’s Licensed Wildlife Custodian List or searching the Ontario Wildlife Rescue website.
  • Local Veterinarian Some veterinarians who are comfortable dealing with wildlife may provide the service of humane euthanasia. To search for a licensed veterinarian click here.
If none of the services are available in your area please contact your regional police or OPP for assistance for terrestrial animals.

Special Notes:

The OAVT Public Health Rabies Response Program is ethically obliged to report all cases of animal cruelty to the Ontario Office of the Solicitor General. This includes cases reported that indicate a method of euthanasia that causes undue suffering (e.g. drowning animals, freezing bats etc.). This may cause a delay in the reporting of rabies test results. For more information regarding animal cruelty and abuse laws in Ontario please visit here.

For those property owners considering euthanizing an animal by their own means they should be advised to contact the following organizations who oversee the humane treatment of animals to ensure their method of euthanasia is legal.

Domestic Animals & Livestock - SPCA  by phone 1-888-668-7722 or online at or Office of the Solicitor General by phone at 1-833-9-ANIMAL (264625) or online at

Wildlife – Ministry of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry by phone 1-800-667-1940 or online at

Questions or concerns? Please call us at 1-844-872-2437 or email