CHAPTER 2 HEALTH AND SAFETY IN BAT WORK tel 0141 300 1100) can provide advice to doctors or the public about the assessment of risk. The BCT office holds a list of all Animal Health Divisional Offices (AHDOs) and their equivalents elsewhere and has details of appropriate health offices. A list of AHDOs can be found at http://www.defra.gov.uk/corporate/contacts/ahdo.htm Submission of fresh dead bats to the Veterinary Laboratories Agency (VLA) To encourage an increase in the rabies surveillance: 1. All dead bats should be sent by first-class mail to VLA as soon as possible (but not on a Friday. If there is to be delay in posting, keep in a refrigerator (C) until the bat can be collected or posted. Rabies-related virus can be isolated from frozen or decomposing material, but the chances are enhanced in fresh unfrozen specimens. 2. If euthanasia is agreed, this can be carried out by a vet using intraperitoneal injection of a small volume of barbiturate alternatively, gaseous anaesthesia can be used if facilities exist. Other methods are available but should avoid breaking the skin or skull. 3. Details of date, source and circumstances of finding should accompany samples. If there is reason to be suspicious of the animal call your local Animal Health Divisional Office before dispatching the bat. 4. Packaging must comply with the Post Office regulations for pathological material. Carcasses should be packed in a tightly sealed container and surrounded by absorbent material.This should be securely fastened and placed in a stout envelope or padded bag.The package must be marked Pathological specimen Fragile with Care and sent by first-class post to VLA. Packages should be clearly marked with a large red R next to the address. Suitable prepaid envelopes, forms and specimen tubes are available free of charge from the Bat Conservation Trust. 5. The package should be sent to Rabies Diagnostics, Veterinary Laboratories Agency, New Haw, Addlestone, Surrey KT NB. Some bat groups have had an arrangement with the Veterinary Officers of their local Animal Health Divisional Office regarding collection of bats for delivery to VLA. 6. As in other countries, the identification of all bats submitted to VLA is confirmed by an appropriate bat specialist and the material is subsequently passed to one of our national museums (mostly to Liverpool or Edinburgh).