How to get a Rabies Antibody Titre Exam (in Macau)
Getting this step of the list of requirements and procedures detailed in the post Leaving Macau with a dog to export Ella from Macau to Europe was the most difficult one for me. Because of the lack of information but also because how things are actually taken care.
Luckily a neighbour was going through the same process for her dogs but to go to Australia and she shared some of the guidance received from the export service she hired for the job.
To travel from Macau to Europe Ella needed to have a Rabies Antibody Titre exam (FAVN) done by one of the approved laboratories in European Legislation. It just happens the vets at IACM only work with a lab in the UK.
The entire process is a bit surprising for the lack of care from my perspective not justifying the reason why only the IACM vets can perform the collection of the blood sample and not your normal vet. After all, we are talking about sending biohazard material overseas.
"Getting this step of the step-by-step list of requirements and procedures (...) to export Ella from Macau to Europe was the most difficult one for me."
STEP-BY-STEP LIST TO PERFORM THE RABIES ANTIBODY TITRE (FAVN) EXAM
1. Check your dog vaccines card - get an anti-rabies vaccine booster
To travel to Europe your dog needs to have been vaccinated against Rabies less than a year before travelling but not less than a month prior travelling and if the exam is part of the requirements that means the dog may need to get a booster around 3 months before the big trip.
It is actually advisable to get the booster anyway to ensure good results
The blood sample collection for the exam can only be done at least 30 days after the last vaccine and may take around another month or so to have it all processed.
2. Contact the laboratory responsible for the testing
IACM for dogs only works with the Animal Health and Veterinary Laboratories Agency (AHVLA) - WeyBridge in the UK or that's what they told me.
Book and pre-pay the exam (through the following emails firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com) with the following details:
Costumer number: 343422 (This is the IACM costumer number and you must use this number)
Sender: Canil Municipal (This is the IACM costumer identification and you must it)
Dogs Name and Identification
Number of samples
Exam type: TC0570
Credit Card details for the pre-payment of 65£
Copy and indicate the following IACM vets email (firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com & firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com)
Once the pre-payment is confirmed the AHVLA should send the documents necessary to request transit for the biohazard samples. Basically, it's an import permit that needs to be sent to the Hong Kong authorities requesting permission for the sample transit.
3. Contact a courier service
Pre-book the DHL or FedEx service to courier the samples to the UK and provide them with a copy of the import permit given by the laboratory (part of step 2).
It is also necessary to fill two forms from the Hong Kong Department of Health to request for the import and transit of the sample, form download link.
The courier service wasn't very helpful filling the form but they know what to do with it and despite my uncertainty regarding the entire process, they took care of the necessary steps to forward to the relevant authorities.
Note that it takes around 4-5 working days for the authorisation to be granted, so count with these in order to schedule the actual sample collection. Supposedly they will call you informing the authorisation but word of advice, chase them.
4. Schedule the sample collection at IACM
Once you get the confirmation from the courier services that the sample can transit through Hong Kong, schedule an appointment at the IACM vet services in the Macau Municipal Kennel to make the blood collection.
Take the Air Waybill, the copy of the pre-payment email receipt for the testing, the dog vaccines card, 2 copies of the lab import permit and 2 copies of the AHVLA form for the exam form download link.
This was absolute torture for Ella, she doesn't like the place, the vets, the whole thing becomes a nightmare of her trying to untangle herself from us and the "nurse" and vet. Doesn't help they are not loving and gentle like our usual vet Alex that can do anything needed to Ella regardless of how painful with minimal assistance.
There are no special requirements for the dog prior to the blood sample collection, they can eat and drink normally etc.
Be reminded to take an absorbent material and a watertight receptacle to accommodate the sample phial. In my case, the doctor was kind enough to have it already prepared in a small ziplock bag full of cotton balls. And a sturdy/rigid outer box to place all inside (I used a plastic box that I sealed with tape).
Macau Municipal Kennel / 澳門市政狗房
Avenida do Almirante Lacerda, Macau
5. Courier the sample
On the same day of the sample collection go back to the courier service to ship it, note that a copy of the import permit and the AHVLA form should go inside the courier package together with the box containing the sample and the other copy should go on the outside of the courier package together with the Air Waybill.
(i) Rabies Antibody Titre Exam (FAVN): around MOP$700 (65£ British Pounds)
(ii) Sample collection: MOP$140 (iii) Air Waybill: around MOP$500 (I used FedEx)
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