Sample Submission

Laboratory specimens must be shipped according to the newest, updated shipping regulations. It is very important that specimens are packaged to prevent leakage or breaks in the containers and that the specimens pose no health hazard or sanitation problem. Shipping regulations clearly state that full responsibility for packaging and shipping rests with the shipper. Leakage or loss of contents from packages containing unregulated biological materials will likely be perceived and handled as hazardous materials by commercial carriers. Liability for losses/damages related to these leaking packages will most likely fall on to the shipper. Your primary responsibility as a shipper is to comply with all requirements of 49 CFR (Hazardous Materials Regulations, US Department of Transportation) (DOT), International Air Transport Association (IATA) (Dangerous Goods Regulations) and your carrier (FedEx or UPS).

DOT website:;

Classification and Identification of Specimens:

Category A: an infectious substance transported in a form that, when exposure occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals.

Category B: an infectious substance which does not meet the criteria for inclusion in Category A. Category B infectious substance is not in a form generally capable of causing permanent disability or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals. Examples of materials that would be included in Category B are Foreign Animal Disease (FAD) investigation samples; samples from on-farm mortalities; diagnostic samples (testing for whether sample contains an infectious substance) and samples from high-risk animals or animals exposed to a pathogen. Division 6.2 infectious substances are defined as "substances known or reasonably expected to contain pathogens". IATA requires that infectious substances be classified in Division 6.2 and assigned the appropriate UN code. For Category B substances, the proper UN code and shipping name is UN3373: biological substance, Category B. Print UN-3373 Label

Exempt Animal Specimen: direct patient specimen for which there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present. Exempt from regulations if properly packaged and marked. Examples of exempt animal specimens are substances that are unlikely to contain pathogens; samples obtained from apparently healthy animals; minimal risk samples for blood or urine tests; serology; serum chemistries; antibody detection in the absence of any concern about infection and slaughter blood samples. Exempt animal specimens are not assigned a proper shipping name or UN number, but the term "Exempt Animal Specimen" must appear on the package.

Packaging, Marking, Labeling and Documentation:

Packaging for Category B and Exempt Animal Specimens consists of 3 basic components:

1. Leakproof primary receptacle(s) (specimen container)
2. Leakproof secondary packaging with sufficient absorbent for liquids
3. An outer packaging with at least one surface havingminimum dimensions of 100 mm x 100 mm (4" x 4").

Category B:
1. Adequate absorbent material must be used for liquid shipments. Maximum volume allowed per primary receptacle is 1 L (34 oz) and maximum allowed per box (outer packaging) is 4 L (1 gal).
2. Absorbent is not required for solid shipments unless residual liquid possible (e.g. sample liquefaction).
3. Solid shipments: Max allowable weight per box (outer packaging) is 4 kg (8.8 lbs).
4. For fresh tissues and swabs, place a frozen ice pack (not dry ice, not ice cubes) next to the samples. Ice packs are not needed for formalin-fixed samples.
5. The proper shipping name, Biological Substance Category B, must be marked in letters at least 6 mm high adjacent to the UN3373 mark.
6. Samples inactivated by fixation in 10% formalin do not require the UN3373 mark.
7. The name and telephone number of a person who is either (a) knowledgeable about the material being shipped and has comprehensive emergency response and incident mitigation information for the material, or (b) has immediate access to a person who possesses such knowledge and information. This must be included on a written document (such as an air waybill or bill of lading) or on the outer packaging.
8. An itemized list of contents must be enclosed between the secondary and outer packagings.

Exempt Animal Specimens:
1. Animal sample types: blood, serum, milk
2. Minimal likelihood that pathogens are present
3. Must be properly packaged according to above instructions
4. If the patient specimen contains or is reasonably expected to contain Category A or B pathogens, then it cannot be packaged as an exempt animal specimen
5. If in doubt, contact the laboratory for guidance

Delivery of Samples to the Laboratory: "EFFECTIVE IMMEDIATELY, samples submitted to the Idaho State Department of Agriculture, Animal Health Laboratory for regulatory disease testing (e.g., Brucellosis, Equine Infectious Anemia, Johne's Disease, Trichomoniasis, Pseudorabies), unless delivered by the Veterinarian of Record or by official carrier/courier, must be in containers which were sealed and signed by the veterinarian to maintain chain-of-custody from the time of sampling until delivery to the laboratory OR THE SAMPLES WILL BE REFUSED.

Laboratory Courier Service: Lab Courier Service is via Action Courier with several pick-up-point clinics throughout the State. Cost to veterinarians to ship samples from one of the pick-up-point clinics is $7.00. The pick-up-point clinic will call Action Courier after a package has been dropped off for courier pick-up.

Samples should be in break-proof, leak-proof, tamper-proof packaging (include appropriate accession form) with temperature requirement CLEARLY posted on the outside (if applicable). The person dropping off samples will sign a Chain-of-Custody (C-o-C) log that is held at all pick-up-point clinics. The C-o-C will accompany the package to the laboratory.

The Animal Health Lab is closed on state holidays so no courier delivery on those days. Samples picked up on Friday will not be delivered until Monday.

Pick-up-point clinics from eastern Idaho (must be dropped off by noon - samples from these pick-up-points will arrive at the ISDA - AHL the next day at 8:00 a.m.):

Willow Creek Animal Hospital, 796 Iona Rd, Idaho Falls - 208-529-4081
Blackfoot Animal Clinic, 401 W. Collins Rd, Blackfoot - 208-785-1960
Alpine Animal Hospital, 293 E. Linden, Chubbuck - 208-237-1111
Burley Vet Hospital, 2869 Overland Ave, Burley - 208-678-5509

Pick-up-point clinics from south-central Idaho (samples will arrive at the ISDA-AHL same day by 4:00):

Sawtooth Vet Services, 988 W. Main, Jerome - 208-324-5151 (dropped off by noon)
Knight Vet Clinic, 220 Elmcrest, Mtn. Home - 208-587-7941 (dropped off by 12:30)

Pick-up-point clinics from south-western Idaho (must be dropped off by noon - samples will arrive at the ISDA-AHL same day by 4:00):

Weiser Vet Clinic, 815 W. Idaho, Weiser - 208-549-0944
Snake River Vet Center, 401 N. Whitely Dr., Fruitland - 208-452-7950

Pick-up-point clinics from Southern Idaho and Eastern Oregon (must be dropped off by noon - samples will arrive at the ISDA-AHL same day by 4:00):

Owyhee Vet Clinic, 1 Kansas Ave., Homedale - 208-337-4677
Vale Veterinary Clinic , 1590 John Day Hwy, Vale, OR - 541-473-3231

Trichomoniasis Culture Samples: Collect into the InPouch TF system and ship at room temperature (between 68°F - 98°F [20°C - 37°C]). To maintain temperature during shipping in cold weather, place inoculated media in a styrofoam container with 3-4 heated icepacks (warmed to about 98°F [37°C] in microwave) inside the container, and filling box with adequate mass (newspaper, etc.) to keep the contents packed tightly. The laboratory must receive the samples within 48 hours from collection date.

Trichomoniasis Real-Time PCR Samples (Including culture positive confirmation samples): Collect into an inoculated TF InPouch OR a TF Transit Tube. Incubate Tubes & Pouches for 18-24 hours at 37°C., freeze and ship on ice packs.

Pooling may be requested for TF InPouches OR TF Transit Tubes. The Animal Health Lab will pool up to 5 samples per pool. If a pool is positive, all the samples within that pool will be tested individually. Please submit all samples individually and the Animal Health Lab will pool!

Rabies Program

The Idaho Department of Health and Welfare is responsible for the Rabies Surveillance Program. The state rules regarding the disposition and sampling of exposed animals and the treatment of bitten persons is contained in IDAPA 16.02.10 - Idaho Reportable Diseases

Shipping Address:

All rabies samples should be shipped to :

IDHW Bureau of Labs
2220 Old Penitentiary Road
Boise, ID 83712

Rabies tests are performed in the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare Clinical Microbiology Laboratory (under IDHW Bureau of Labs). Please use the link below to view rabies lab information. Additionally, the Rabies Lab Submission Form and packaging, labeling & shipping guidelines can be found on their website: