Submitting samples to the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory

The Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory's activities include, but are not limited to:

  • identifying and investigating new and emerging animal diseases across Queensland
  • monitoring and diagnosing diseases
    • in Queensland's livestock industries (e.g. Hendra virus, bovine infertility)
    • of aquatic animals farmed in the tropics and subtropics (e.g. barramundi, prawns, oysters, crabs, scallops)
    • of wildlife in cases of mass mortality, unusual mortality or suspicion of a potential public health problem.
  • screening for mad cow disease
  • testing cattle ticks for resistance to chemicals used for control
  • maintaining a database of plants toxic to animals.

Samples may be submitted by:

  • private or industry veterinarians
  • Biosecurity Queensland staff (veterinarians, biosecurity inspectors, researchers)
  • some farmer groups (such as fish or prawn farmers).

Laboratory fee exemption criteria

Samples from any animal will be accepted if there is a disease incident that may cause an unacceptable risk to the community or commercial livestock.

Acceptance of samples and exemption from fees is based on the following criteria:

  • the benefit to the public
  • the extent of clinical history, epidemiological and other relevant information provided
  • whether specimens are:
    • appropriate to the clinical history and suspected disease which they are being submitted for
    • associated with disease and do not form part of health or export testing or certain accreditation schemes
    • referred from other laboratories for testing.

Samples from any animal will be accepted if a disease incident is thought to be an unacceptable risk to the health of the community or commercial livestock. Please read the policy on specimens accepted for testing and service fee exemptions (PDF, 45KB) or contact the laboratory for more information.

Please note that the person submitting the sample will be invoiced if laboratory charges apply.

Guidelines and forms for sample submission

Email bslclo@daf.qld.gov.au to request a copy of the Biosecurity Laboratory user's guide for submitting laboratory samples.

General guidelines for submitting samples

  • Ensure veterinary samples are sent chilled, not frozen, except for smears, ticks and culture media for campylobacter and tritrichomonas, which should be kept at ambient temperature.
  • Complete a specimen advice sheet: Form A (PDF, 146KB) with all specimens.
  • Use a separate specimen advice sheet per animal species/property/reason.
  • Complete ALL sections; print clearly and sign and date the form.
  • Number animals and corresponding samples sequentially from 1.
  • Attach a separate necropsy findings form (PDF, 65KB), if required.
  • Provide an after-hours phone numberfor urgent cases.

Submitting aquaculture samples

You can read more about managing disease in aquaculture farms and submitting samples for laboratory examination, including pearl oysters, fin fish, crayfish and prawns.

Call the aquatic veterinary officer in Townsville on (07) 3330 4546 for advice when preparing aquatic disease investigation cases in northern Queensland. They will assist you with the initial preparation before sending samples to the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory for testing.

Forms and documents

Contact details

Postal address

Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory
Health and Food Science Precinct
PO Box 156
ARCHERFIELD BC  QLD  4108
Email: bslclo@daf.qld.gov.au

Delivery address

Specimen Receipt (Loading Dock 12)
Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory
Health and Food Science Precinct
39 Kessels Road
COOPERS PLAINS  QLD  4108

Phone: (07) 3708 8762 (submission enquiries)
Fax: (07) 3708 8860
Email: bslclo@daf.qld.gov.au

Normal laboratory hours

Monday to Friday: 9am-5pm

Weekends and public holidays: Closed

Urgent testing

Contact the laboratory during normal laboratory hours to arrange for urgent testing.

After hours, contact the Emergency Animal Disease Hotline on 1800 675 888.

Call 13 25 23 for more information.

External animal and plant health authorities and laboratories

We collect information to perform diagnostic testing for animal and plant disease management and control. If required, some of the information from the advice sheets may be given to:

External animal and plant health authorities and laboratories

For brood or adult bee or honey submission forms, 1 to 4 applies. For the (general) specimen advice sheet (GEN-008) and other related forms (GEN-009, GEN-113), 1 to 6 applies.

  1. Animal Health Australia
  2. Plant Health Australia
  3. Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  4. Safe Food Queensland
  5. Queensland Health
  6. Department of Environment and Heritage Protection

Other state and federal animal and plant health authorities for animal and plant disease management, control and reporting

  • Animal Consulting Enterprises Pty Ltd, ACE Laboratory Services, Bendigo East
  • Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL, CSIRO)
  • Australian Registry of Wildlife Health
  • Baiada Poultry Pty Limited Birling Avian Laboratories
  • Bee Pathology Research Group, CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences
  • Bee Scientifics, Ironbark, Victoria
  • Behaviour and Genetics of Social Insects Laboratory, University of Sydney
  • Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories
  • Centre for Animal Health Innovation, Faculty of Science, Health, Education and Engineering, University of the Sunshine Coast
  • ChemCentre, Resources and Chemistry Precinct, Western Australia
  • Chemical Residues Laboratory, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • CSIRO Australian National Insect Collection
  • CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research
  • CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australian Government
  • Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
    • Animal Health Laboratories (South Perth)
  • Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment Animal Health Laboratory
  • Diagnostic Services Laboratory, School of Veterinary Science, University of Queensland
  • Elizabeth Macarthur Agricultural Institute
  • Entomology, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Faculty of Veterinary Science, University of Sydney
  • IDEXX Laboratories, Brisbane Laboratory
  • James Cook University
  • Landscape Sciences Chemistry Centre, DSITI
  • Microbiological Research Group (QAAFI)
  • Murdoch University Division of Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences
  • Northern Australia Quarantine Strategy, Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
  • Pathology North, Royal North Shore Laboratory (Australian National Reference Laboratory in Medical Mycology)
  • Pathology Queensland Central Laboratory (Queensland Mycobacterium Reference Laboratory)
  • Pathology Queensland Prince Charles Hospital Laboratory
  • Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services
  • NVMEP (National Varroa Mite Eradication Program) Laboratory, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Queensland Herbarium Environment Protection Agency
  • Queensland Museum
  • Queensland University Department of Microbiology and Parasitology
  • Regional Laboratory Services Benalla Laboratory
  • SA Pathology, Royal Adelaide Hospital Site, National Mycology Reference Centre, Adelaide
  • The University of Melbourne Asia Pacific Centre for Animal Health
  • Tick Fever Centre, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • University of Melbourne Microbiological Diagnostic Unit
  • University of Western Australia
  • Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory, School of Animal and Veterinary Science, Charles Sturt University
  • Vetpath Laboratory Services, Belmont
  • Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Biosciences Research Division
  • Victorian Department of Economic Development, Jobs, Transport and Resources, Pig Specialist Centre
  • Victorian Infectious Diseases Reference Laboratory (VIDRL)