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This information is provided by DEFRA and is for informational purposes only.

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Pet Travel Scheme Regulations

Blood Testing

Arranging a blood test

After your pet has been vaccinated, it must have a blood test to make sure that the vaccine has given sufficient protection against rabies. The vet will arrange to take a sample of your pet’s blood and send it to a laboratory for testing. The vet who vaccinated your pet can arrange this for you. You will need to take your pet’s vaccination record with you when the blood sample is taken.

When to blood test

The best time for a blood sample to be taken is about 30 days after your pet's rabies vaccination. Your vet will advise you further. Make sure that your vet gives you a signed record of the date the blood sample was taken with the microchip number clearly stated.

Where the blood test is done

The blood test must be done at a laboratory recognised by defra. Your vet should have a list of these and can choose any one to carry out the test. Other laboratories may be added to the list in due course.

The date that each laboratory was officially recognised is noted on the list. Blood tests performed by laboratories before the recognition date will not be accepted. This is because we can only be certain that a laboratory meets the necessary quality standards once it has been officially recognised.

Blood testing capacity at laboratories may be limited and there may be a wait for a blood test. You might wish to ask your vet to check with the laboratory how long they will take to provide the result of the blood test. These problems should ease as more laboratories are recognised and capacity increases. Blood samples may be stored by laboratories for later testing.

Contacting laboratories

Please do not contact laboratories direct to arrange your pet’s blood test or to get the result. Your vet will do this for you.

If your pet’s blood test is successful, you should ask a government authorised vet (in Great Britian a Local Veterinary Inspector) to issue you with an official PETS certificate. However, you will not be able to bring your pet into the UK under the Scheme until 6 months have passed from the date that the blood sample was taken.

Blood test result
A successful blood test result must show that the rabies neutralising antibody titre was equal to or greater than 0.5 IU/ml. Make sure your vet gives you a copy of the blood test result.

Failed blood test

You should seek advice from your vet if your pet fails its blood test (in other words, the result shows that it has not been satisfactorily protected against rabies). Your pet may need to be re-vaccinated and blood tested again.

To help avoid this, you may wish to consider getting your pet vaccinated twice before it is blood tested. This may be particularly helpful in the case of young animals. You should discuss this with your vet.

Further blood tests
No further tests are required after the first test which gives a successful result, provided the pet is subsequently revaccinated by the 'Valid until' date on the PETS certificate. If there is a break in the specified vaccination programme, a further blood test will be required after re-vaccination and the six months wait will apply.

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