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Kansas State Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory

FAVN Frequently Asked Questions

Which test do I choose FAVN or RFFIT Testing?

The FAVN test must be submitted for pet travel.

Are you an EU certified lab for rabies serology for pet travel? 
Yes, we are an EU certified lab

Why is the FAVN test needed for my pet? 
The FAVN test is required by many rabies-free countries, regions or islands in order for dogs and cats to qualify for a reduced quarantine period prior to entry. A passing FAVN result ((>/= 0.5 IU/mL) provides proof of adequate response to rabies vaccination.

Is the FAVN Test the same as the OIE-FAVN Testing? 
Yes, the OIE-FAVN (Office International des Epizooties) test is same as the FAVN test; the test is performed following the FAVN procedure in the OIE manual.

Is the FAVN Test the same as the RNATT? 
Yes, the RNATT (Rabies Neutralizing Antibody Titre Test) is the same as the FAVN test. RNATT is a generic term which encompasses the FAVN method.

If the pet is travelling to a Rabies Free Country or Island, can I submit the RFFIT?
No, The FAVN test must be submitted for pet travel.

How much does the FAVN testing cost?
Our requirements, policies and costs are updated on our website at Tests and Feess

Sample Submission

How long should I wait after my pet has been vaccinated before drawing the sample? 
For the highest probability of obtaining a passing result, we recommend the pet be rabies vaccinated a minimum of two times. For optimum antibody response, wait 10-21 days between vaccination and taking the blood sample for testing (or 14-30 days if taking the blood sample after primary vaccination).  However, some countries have strict requirements for the timing of the blood draw. Therefore, we strongly recommend directly contacting regulatory authorities in the country of your destination or your state USDA Vet Med Officer.

Is a fasted sample required?
A fasted sample is not needed unless the sample is grossly lipemic.  To avoid submitting a lipemic sample, fast the animal 8 -12 hours prior to having the serum drawn.

How much serum do I need?
We recommend 1.0 to 2.0 mLs of serum per submission

Can I draw the sample in a serum separator tube?
Yes, the sample can be collected and sent in a serum separator tube (gel separated, red-top tube, tiger-top tube). However, if a serum separator tube is used, it is best to pour off the serum into a non-additive 3.0 to 5.0 mL tube and send only the serum part of the sample.

How long can serum be stored? 
We recommend serum storage be no more than 7-10 days in refrigeration before shipment. For longer storage you can freeze the serum at -20 °C.

My sample is grossly hemolyzed (reddish) or lipemic (fatty). Will it affect the testing? 
A simple test is to hold the serum tube in front of a printed page – if you can see the print through the sample, then it is acceptable to test. If the sample is toxic to our cells due to hemolysis, lipemia, or contamination, a ‘toxic’ result will be sent out, and testing fees may apply.  To reduce the chance of hemolysis, pour off serum from the clot into a transfer tube for submission. To avoid lipemia, a fasting sample (8-12 hours) is recommended.  If sufficient serum sample can be pipetted from the submitted tube, we will test it.

My pet has two microchip numbers, which one should I list on my FAVN form? 
If an animal has two microchips, the first number listed on the submission form is the only one that will be on the official FAVN result label. Most destinations require an ISO microchip be implanted before the blood sample is drawn. Some destinations have scanners that only read certain brands of microchips. Choose which microchip to list first based on these and any other criteria the destination may have.

How much history of the rabies vaccination should I provide? 
Record the dates of 2-3 rabies vaccinations beginning with the most recent. Please check with the destination for their specific requirements.  It is recommended the animal have a minimum of two rabies vaccinations for best chance of achieving a passing titer of 0.5 IU/mL.

Pet Travel Requirements

Can you help me with the Destination requirements?
The Rabies lab’s function is to test the serum and provide a result.  Please contact the quarantine authority of the intended destination or access the USDA website at the following link:  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/export for current requirements per destination.

When does the 120 day countdown begin for Hawaii?
The day the sample is received at the Rabies Laboratory begins the countdown. This received date will appear on the result label of the official FAVN report. As long as the titer result is at or above the passing level (>/= 0.5 IU/mL) and travel is 120 days after the received date, the animal will be eligible to enter Hawaii. Please see http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-microchip-search/ for more information

Does the Veterinarian have to be Accredited?
Yes, the identity of the veterinarian is critical to assessing the biosecurity risk associated with the animal.  The USDA has an understandably rigid view that only USDA accredited veterinarians can undertake the testing, treatments and examinations needed for the purposes of importing dogs and cats to Rabies Free Countries or Islands. 

How will I know if my Veterinarian is a USDA Accredited?
Information regarding The National Veterinary Accreditation Program is available at this link:   https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/nvap 

Who will endorse the Rabies and Health Certificate?
IREGS for Animal Exports is at this link:  https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/export/iregs-for-animal-exports/ct_iregs_animal_exports_home

I don’t understand the regulations for exporting animals.
If you have questions or concerns regarding regulations for exporting animals to a foreign country, you can contact the Veterinary Services service center in the State from which the animals will be exported. For import/export questions, contact your National Import Export Service Centerhttps://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/nvap/ct_areavet

Does the USDA website have FAQ to help me?  Yes, at the following link:
https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/ourfocus/animalhealth/export/iregs-for-animal-exports/ct_live_animal_export_faqs

What is the RNATT Declaration?
The RNATT declaration is completed by an Official Government Veterinarian not by the Rabies Lab 

https://www.aphis.usda.gov/aphis/pet-travel/by-country/pettravel-australia

Sample Shipping/Receipt and Status

Packing Instructions - Put into a small shipping box the following:

  • Plastic bag containing sample tube labeled with the animal’s microchip number/name
  • Plastic bag containing  FAVN REPORT FORM and any accompanying paperwork or payment
  • Pre-frozen gel pack
  • Packing peanuts or  bubble wrap or for cushioning
  • Paper towel or other absorbent material in case of leakage

How much should it cost me to ship my sample?
For discounted UPS labels, please visit: https://www.vet.k-state.edu/asp/Forms/ksvdl/Ups-Label - your account number will be needed.  It can be found on a previous invoice, or call the lab for inquiries.  If you haven’t submitted to the Rabies Lab before, then you will need to complete the Client Registration Form at this link: http://www.ksvdl.org/laboratories/default-sample-submission.html

Should I use a courier service to send my sample?
You can create a UPS shipping label at this link: https://www.vet.k-state.edu/asp/Forms/ksvdl/Ups-Label. You can also use your own shipping account or go to your local courier service and pay for shipping.  We will not accept any packages with outstanding charges

 Can the pet owner submit the sample for FAVN testing?
Pet owners should check with the veterinarian for permission to schedule the shipment of the sample. The clinic or reference laboratory is responsible for the sample draw labeling, packaging, and associated services. Results will be sent to the submitting clinic or reference laboratory unless written permission to send the results directly to the pet owner is given by the submitting clinic or reference laboratory.

Do I need to attach any kind of bio-hazard label on my shipping package?
A FAVN sample is considered an “exempt animal specimen”, therefore most courier companies do not require special labeling. If in doubt, please check the shipping company prior to sending your sample. 

For International Shipments, Please fill out:  Customs Declaration for Animal Serum Export to the UShttps://www.vet.k-state.edu/asp/Forms/ksvdl/Ups-Label available at this link:  A copy of the FAVN REPORT FORM and the Customs documents should be placed on the outside of the package for custom agents to keep.  Also place the original FAVN REPORT FORM and Customs Documents in the box. The animal’s microchip number MUST be on the serum tube and the FAVN REPORT FORM to ensure testing.   Samples arriving without a microchip number will be cancelled.

Does the laboratory accept weekend delivery?
We accept deliveries Monday-Friday 8am-5pm [CST], excluding State Holidays. Samples for Saturday Delivery will be received, but not processed until the following business day. Create a UPS shipping label at this link: https://www.vet.k-state.edu/asp/Forms/ksvdl/Ups-Label

Will I receive confirmation of receipt of my sample?
The K-State Rabies Laboratory receives thousands of samples per week.  To determine if we have received your sample, please track the package to our location, and by the next business day you can search for the animal’s microchip number on our website.  http://www.ksvdl.org/rabies-laboratory/favn-test/Rabies-Search/

Can you tell me the status of my samples? 
To determine status of the FAVN test on your sample, you can utilize the FAVN Microchip Status Search at the following link:  http://www.ksvdl.org/rabies-laboratory/favn-test/Rabies-Search/

The sample will go through four status stages, New – meaning the sample has been received, Working – meaning the sample is prepped or in the testing phase, Review – testing has been completed, but we are verifying paperwork and QA/QC of the testing process, and Finalized – meaning the sample’s results have been sent.  (An electronic result will be sent as soon as the result is finalized in the laboratory information management system.  See “How and where is the official FAVN report sent?” for information about the Official Stickered Copy.)

Results

When are the results ready? 
FAVN test results are normally available within 3 to 4 weeks from the date that the sample is received. If you will be traveling in less than 3 weeks, an expedited STAT service is available.  Please email rabies@vet.k-state.edu for STAT service inquiries.

My pet’s rabies titer failed (was less than 0.50 IU/mL). What should I do now?  We recommend a minimum of two rabies vaccinations before taking the blood sample for FAVN testing.  Most rabies-free countries have extended quarantine periods for pets that don’t meet minimum requirements. Alternatively, consult with your veterinarian about the possibility of an additional rabies vaccination and collecting another blood sample. It is best to wait 10-21 days after re-vaccination to take a blood sample so that the pet has time to develop a higher antibody response. Please carefully read and interpret the results on the report and contact us if you have questions

How long is the FAVN test valid? 
The destination countries decide how long the FAVN test result is valid for, please check directly with them. For Hawaii, please go to http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-microchip-search/ for more information.

How and where is the official FAVN report sent?
The results of the FAVN testing are printed on a white adhesive sticker that is applied to a COPY of the FAVN REPORT FORM which was submitted with the sample.  The Official FAVN REPORT FORM (copy with white sticker/purple KSVDL logo) is distributed in one of the following ways:

Hawaii – An electronic copy is sent via fax or email to the submitting clinic or reference lab.  The Official FAVN is sent to the Animal Industry Division of the Hawaiian Animal Quarantine.  For information about Hawaii’s requirements, please go to: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-information-page/ - to verify if Hawaii has received your animal’s results, travel date, and the time period the FAVN result is valid, please follow the instructions on this web page: http://hdoa.hawaii.gov/ai/aqs/animal-quarantine-microchip-search/

If traveling to Antigua, Bahamas, Barbados, British Virgin Islands, Cayman Islands, Dominica, Fiji, Guam, St. Kitts & Nevis, St. Lucia, St. Vincent & the Grenadines, and Turks & Caicos, the Official FAVN is airmailed directly to Island’s Department of Agriculture.  Also, an electronic copy is sent via fax or email to the Island and submitting clinic or reference lab.

For all other destinations, the Official FAVN report is sent to the submitting clinic or reference lab via FedEx Express Saver or USPS.  The Official FAVN is airmailed to international clinics, however, Courier delivery is highly recommended at an additional fee.  Courier Requests MUST be received before the results are finalized. Submit the Courier Delivery Form with the sample(s) or choose “Pay Now Online” at the following link: http://www.ksvdl.org/accounting-billing/indes.html

The FAVN report can be sent directly to the pet owner with written permission from the submitting clinic or reference laboratory.  A copy of the FAVN report also can be sent via email or fax to USDA veterinarians or quarantine stations at no charge.

How do I request a reissue of an Official FAVN report
If you are the submitting clinic, the Official FAVN REPORT FORM (copy with white sticker/purple KSVDL logo) can be reissued for a fee by submitting the Request to Reissue form which is available at the following link:  http://www.ksvdl.org/rabies-laboratory/favn-test/favn-submission-forms.html .  Otherwise, choose “Pay Now Online” at the following link:  http://www.ksvdl.org/accounting-billing/index.html 

If you are the pet owner, please have your submitting clinic request the reissue. The reissued FAVN Report is sent to the submitting clinic, unless the submitting clinic authorizes release directly to the pet owner

If you are the submitting clinic, BUT used a reference lab to submit the sample to the Rabies lab, then contact the Reference lab to request the reissue.  

A copy of the FAVN report also can be sent via email or fax to USDA veterinarians or quarantine stations at no charge upon request.

I need to make a change(s) on my FAVN Report Form. What should I do?
Any change inquiries should be emailed to rabies@vet.k-state.edu.

Before the test is finalized, the submitting clinic can contact the Rabies Laboratory about changes.

Any request to correct FAVN information after finalization will be reviewed and must be approved per internal standards/policy.  Email rabies@vet.k-state.edu with information explaining what corrections are requested.    Reissue and correction fees apply.

If you think the Rabies Laboratory made an error on the result label of the official FAVN report, you may Email rabies@vet.k-state.edu . Any error due to a misinterpretation of handwriting will be reviewed on a case by case basis.

Payment

How much does the FAVN testing cost? 
Our requirements, policies and costs are updated on our website at Tests and Fees

FAVN Payment Options

Prepayment is preferred on all samples submitted.  In the event that prepayment is not made, payment for each case is due upon receipt of the monthly invoice.

Please include the microchip number(s) on all payments. Payment for the FAVN test can be made by any of the following options:

Check or Money Order: To include payment with the sample, enclose check or money order made payable to KSVDL or Veterinary Diagnostic Lab.

Credit Card:  Credit card payments can be made online by going to http://www.ksvdl.us/accounting-and-billing/ and by clinic on the “Pay Now” button.  If you pay online, put a copy of the payment receipt with the FAVN Form in the shipping box.  Alternatively, the Credit Card Authorization Form can be submitted with the sample or can be faxed to the business office.  (Fax: 785-532-3502)

Any special service, such as Expedited (STAT) samples, Reissues, Couriers, etc. are pre-pay only by Credit card online or enclose the Credit Card Authorization Form with the FAVN form in the shipping box.

I sent in my samples but I have not been billed yet for the FAVN test. Is something wrong? 
For clinics in good standing, invoices are sent on the first business day of the month following finalization of results. Any special service, such as Expedited (STAT) samples, Reissues, Couriers, etc. are pre-pay only. These can be paid at http://www.ksvdl.org/accounting-billing/index.html.

 For billing inquiries, please contact the Business Office at 785-532-3294 or vdlbusiness@vet.k-state.edu.