All diagnostic specimens must be packed in compliance with IATA Packing Instructions 650. The shipper is responsible for compliance with these packaging instructions.


  • Primary receptacle – must be leak-proof and must not contain more than 500 ml. Absorbent material – between the primary receptacle and the secondary packaging, must be capable of absorbing all liquid in primary receptacle.
  • Secondary packaging – must be leak-proof, must be capable of withstanding an internal pressure producing a pressure differential of not less than 95 kPa in the range of –40 deg F to 130 deg F without leaking. Itemized list of contents – between primary and secondary packaging.
  • Outer packaging – must not contain more than 4 L


  • Primary receptacle – must be sift-proof and must not contain more than 500 g.
  • Secondary packaging – must be leak-proof. Itemized list of contents – between primary and secondary packaging.
  • Outer packaging – must not contain more than 4 kg.

Each completed package must:

  • Be capable of successfully passing a drop test from a height of approximately 4 ft.
  • Be labeled with the following “BIOLOGICAL SUBSTANCE – CATEGORY B – UN 3373” and “Diagnostic Specimen packed in compliance with IATA Packing Instructions 650”.
  • Be at least 4 inches in the smallest overall external dimension.
  • Compliant packaging is available from a variety of vendors. We prefer Saf-T-Pak

Multiple specimens (such as fresh tissues) from a field necropsy must be individually packed (PRIMARY RECEPTACLE) to prevent cross contamination, and then enclosed in a secondary leak proof container with absorbent material before being placed in a leak-proof outer container. Containers with screw-top lids are preferred packages for tissue and feces. Plastic vials with screw-top lids for blood, serum, and fluid transport are preferred as the primary containers for these specimens. If protected from breakage, single-use vacuum blood-collection tubes may also be satisfactory. Guarded culture swabs may be shipped in original packaging that is placed in an appropriate primary receptacle.

Formalin-fixed tissues from an individual animal may be pooled in a single container unless it is clinically relevant to have findings for each reported separately. If possible, the specimens should be no more than 0.5 cm thick (about the thickness of five dimes) for adequate fixation.

If the specimen needs to be kept cool (i.e., blood, serum, etc.) please use the shipping containers designed specifically for refrigerated specimens. Please enclose the submission form in a plastic bag and place the submission form in the package between the PRIMARY RECEPTACLE and the SECONDARY PACKAGING.


Accredited for all species

The AZVDL is accredited for all species by the American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians

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Each specimen must be labeled with pertinent information that should include animal number, herd number, lot number, animal name, source, body site, and identify the specimen. This is especially true when samples from multiple animals are submitted.

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