Dairy Herd Health and Productivity Service

Transport of samples

Responsibility for the packaging and transport of samples lies with the submitting veterinary practice, the following should help as a guide.

If you are having problems getting samples to us please contact the office on 0131 651 7474 and we can advise as appropriate.

Where possible, send samples to arrive with us the day after sampling. We recommend using an overnight courier service.

Please read the following advice document from the BCVA.

You must make sure that the samples are packaged safely and responsibly so that they not only do they arrive safely in our lab but that they also comply with the relevent legislation.

Sample box

Ideally, a properly used Diagnostic Specimen sample collection kit should be used.


A full list of the regulations can be read at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) web site, particularly Appendix 1.2: Table A4 packaging instruction 650 (pages 58 and 59).

HSE regulations

Whether you categorise samples for a routine metabolic profile as 'exempt animal specimen - non hazardous' or 'UN3373 Catagory B Infections Material' the basic principles of the packaging requirements are the same:

  • A leak-proof primary receptacle (the blood collection tube)
  • Leak-proof secondary packaging (eg a sealed plastic bag)
  • Absorbent material in sufficient quantity to absorb any leakage of sample (eg absorbent pads, cotton wool)
  • Blood tubes must be either individually wrapped or separated so they are not in contact with each other.

The outer packaging should be clearly marked with the appropriate text:

‘UN3373 Category B Infectious Material’ or ‘Exempt animal specimen - non-hazardous’

Please remember to include both the vet and the farmers name with the samples. A note telling us who to contact for any missing information is also appreciated.