Transportation of Dangerous Goods - Rabies Samples

Training File

Transport of Dangerous Goods – Rabies Samples

Name of employee:                                                                                         Date of training:                                                            

Animal specimens shipped for rabies testing include:

  • Entire carcases (animals weighing <500 g), e.g. bats
  • Entire heads (animals weighing <100 kg), e.g. dogs, cats, foxes, skunks, raccoons
  • Entire brains (animals weighing >100 kg), e.g. cattle, horses

Initial next to each component to indicate that you understand the content.  Address any questions to an individual trained in packaging and transport of animal specimens for rabies testing under the TDG Regulations.

Classification & Shipping Name


Any animal specimen believed to contain rabies virus (e.g. from an animal exhibiting neurological signs consistent with rabies) is classified as an infectious substance, class 6.2 dangerous goods.

This class has two categories: A and B.  Animal specimens believed to contain rabies are shipped as “Biological Substance, Category B” (UN3373) as per subsection 2.36(2) of the TDG Regulations.  This is the shipping name that MUST appear on the shipping label along with the name, address and phone number of the shipper and receiver and the dangerous goods safety marks (see below).


If there is no particular reason to believe that an animal specimen contains rabies virus, but it is being submitted for testing as a precaution (i.e. to confirm that it is negative, e.g. an otherwise normal bat), it may be shipped as an “Exempt Animal Specimen” using the exemption under section 1.42 of the TDG Regulations.  This is the shipping name that MUST appear on the shipping label.

These specimens should be packaged and handled in the same manner as suspect rabies samples, but the shipping label only requires the name, address and phone number of the shipper and receiver, and the shipping name (Exempt Animal Specimen) – it does not require any dangerous goods safety marks (below).


Dangerous Goods Safety Marks


The outer packaging for any animal specimen believed to contain rabies virus must be marked with the UN3373 diamond in contrasting colours (e.g. black on white).  See example label attached.

→ Black letters and numbers at least 6 mm high, and a black line at least 2 mm wide

→ White background (or the background may be the colour of the outer packaging if it contrasts with the letters, numbers and line)

→ The diamond (square on point) must be at least 5 cm x 5 cm


The outer packaging must also be marked with a 24-hour telephone number.*


*Samples shipped for rabies testing by OMAF use the CANUTEC emergency number 613-996-6666.

If you ship a known or suspected infectious substance without the proper labelling or documentation, you could be fined up to $100 000 or sentenced to 2 years in prison.

Required packaging supplies for GROUND transport of animal specimens for rabies testing:

  1. Four thick (3 mm), clear, leak-proof plastic bags (e.g. freezer bags)
    • A clear, leak-proof sample cup (e.g. urine cup) can be used in place of one bag for small samples
  2. Newspaper or similar absorbent paper packing material
    • Do NOT use particulate packing material (e.g. foam “peanuts”)
  3. One or more small, solid ice packs
    • Do NOT use soft gel cooling packs
  4. A strong/sturdy cardboard box with at least one side measuring a minimum of 10 cm x 10 cm
  5. Duct tape (or other moisture-resistant tape)


Means of Containment


Primary packaging



Place the sample (e.g. bat, head, brain) in a clear, leak-proof bag and seal (fold over end and tape with duct tape) OR you can put the sample (e.g. bat) in a clear, leak-proof sample cup (e.g. urine cup) if it will fit.



Place the bag (or cup) with the sample inside in another clear, leak-proof bag.  Seal the bag (fold over end and tape with duct tape). 



On the outside of this bag write or stick a label in permanent ink that says “SAMPLE XXX”.

(The sample number will be provided for each case and must match the sample number on the sample submission form* – see step 5.)


Secondary packaging



Wrap the double-bag in newspaper and place in yet another clear, leak-proof bag.  Seal the bag (fold over end and tape with duct tape).



Print a copy of the sample submission form* in a separate bag.  Tape this to the outside of the triple bag containing the sample.


Outer packaging



Wrap the triple bag with the attached form loosely with newspaper and place in a sturdy cardboard box.



Place 1-2 solid ice packs in the box with the triple bag, if necessary.

Use judgement with regard to the number of ice packs required depending on the average outdoor temperature and whether the specimen is already frozen.



Seal the box securely.



Affix the shipping label* (including dangerous goods safety marks, if applicable) and Purolator waybill* to the outside of the box.



*For samples shipped for rabies testing by OMAF, the sample submission form, shipping label and Purolator waybill will be emailed to you by OMAF staff.

Certificate of Training

Transportation of Dangerous Goods

Name of employer:

Employer’s business address:




Name of employee:

City, province, postal code:




This certificate certifies that the employee named above has completed the training described on the reverse, in accordance with the requirements of the Transportation of Dangerous Goods Act and Regulations.

Date issued:

Employer’s signature:




Expires on:

Employee’s signature:




Certificate is valid for 3 years from date of issue

The individual named above is trained and certified for packaging and offering for ground transport animal specimens for rabies testing, based on his/her understanding of the following as they relate to such specimens:

  1. Classification (Class 6.2 Infectious Substance)
  2. Shipping name (Biological substance, Category B)
  3. Dangerous goods safety marks (UN3373 diamond)
  4. Safety requirements for means of containment (Type 1B packaging)

Use of schedules, TDG shipping documents, emergency response assistance plan (ERAP), additional handling and transportation (including use of equipment), emergency measures and air/marine transport are not necessary for these samples, and therefor training in these areas is not required.

File attachments

PDF icon TDG Certificate & Training - Rabies.pdf452.92 KB