Due to some structural repairs that need to be carried out at the CFIA-OLF Rabies Laboratory in Ottawa they will temporarily be unable to accept animal samples for diagnostic testing during two periods, tentatively scheduled for the following dates:

  • Wednesday, November 17 to Friday November 26 2021 (inclusive); and
  • Monday, January 17 to Friday, February 4, 2022 (inclusive)

During these indicated times the OAVT Public Health Rabies Response Program will be routing samples to the CFIA’s Rabies Laboratory in Lethbridge, Alberta.

Utilizing the CFIA’s Lethbridge Laboratory will require specimens to be shipped by air. Under the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act/Regulations those specimens that are determined to be Biological, Category B specimens by RRP staff will require a 95kpa pressure tested bag. Public Health Units who normally utilize the Ottawa Laboratory (all PHUs except Northwestern and Thunder Bay PHUs) will need to order 95 kPa pressure tested bags as soon as possible from OGPMSS to ensure delivery prior to the expected closure dates. Supplies may take one week to arrive to you. The Ministry of Health has requested that you order only 3 bags per PHU for the first closure, then determine if more are required for the second closure.




Catalogue No.

Plastic Bags for Shipping by Air to Lethbridge


LARGE Pressure- Tested Bags, 13.125 x 18 Inches (95 kPa)



In order to preserve the supply of these bags, when required RVTs will be directed to contact PHUs to make arrangements to pick up a 95 kPa pressure tested bag (or have one dropped off to the specimen collection location prior to their arrival where feasible). This may be on short notice to ensure we can ship your specimen as quickly as possible. Please ensure PHU staff responsible for distributing supplies to RVTs know where these bags are located. RVTs should not be provided a supply of these bags ahead of time.

Please keep in mind that due to time zone differences, local courier delivery schedules, and the potential for increased sample loads at Lethbridge, test results may not be available until the next business day after samples are received at the laboratory.  If many samples are received, human exposure samples will be prioritized for processing.

We appreciate your co-operation during this temporary interruption to the normal procedures you have become accustomed to. If you have any questions please email us at rrp@oavt.org 

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