Army initiates procedural changes for rabies test

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Military veterinarians and civilian veterinarians who serve clients in the military should be aware that the U.S. Army Veterinary Command in Sam Houston, Texas has made two procedural changes involving the fluorescent antibody virus neutralization test for rabies. Starting in May, tests performed at the VETCOM Food Analysis and Diagnostic Laboratory require a $35 fee and a new test request form.

In order to forgo a six-month quarantine, dogs and cats entering the United Kingdom from the United States and Canada must pass the FAVN test, along with meeting other requirements of the U.K. Pet Travel Scheme. The FAVN test is also required for importing pets into Hawaii, Guam, Australia, and New Zealand.

According to Maj. Kathleen Kral of Fort Sam Houston, a veterinarian and Diagnostic Section chief at VETCOM-FADL, only two U.S. laboratories perform FAVN testing: VETCOM-FADL at Fort Sam Houston, for military only, and Kansas State University, for the general public. The changes do not affect samples sent to Kansas State University for analysis.

The new VETLAB FORM D-132 now includes a serum draw date. Army officials made the change, said Maj. Kral, after learning that the United Kingdom considers this date crucial in the U.K. Pet Travel Scheme process. The previous form did not include the draw date.

Veterinarians who are submitting samples should consult the Web site This site provides information on sample preparation and shipping, instructions on submitting payment, and the FAVN test request form.