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:
    • appropriate to the clinical history and suspected disease are submitted
    • are associated with disease and do not form part of health or export testing or certain accreditation schemes
    • are 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, 46KB) 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 advice on submitting samples to the laboratory.

General guidelines for submitting samples

  • Veterinary samples should be sent chilled, not frozen. The exceptions are smears, ticks and culture media for campylobacter and tritrichomonas, which should be kept at ambient temperature.
  • A completed specimen advice sheet: Form A (PDF, 80KB) has to accompany all specimens.
  • Use a separate specimen advice sheet per animal species/property/reason for testing.
  • Complete ALL sections; print clearly and sign and date in the place provided at the bottom of the form.
  • Number animals and corresponding samples sequentially from 1.
  • Attach a separate necropsy findings form (PDF, 110KB), if required.
  • Please provide an after-hours phone contact for 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 occurs outside of these hours. Contact the laboratory during normal laboratory hours to arrange or, if outside of these 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

  • 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
  • Berrimah Veterinary Laboratories
  • Chemical Residues Laboratory, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • CSIRO Australian National Insect Collection
  • CSIRO Sustainable Ecosystems
  • Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, Australian Government
  • Department of Agriculture and Food Western Australia
    • Animal Health Laboratories (South Perth)
    • Livestock Parasitology Laboratory (Albany)
  • 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
  • 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 Scientific Services (QHFSS)
  • Plant Biosecurity and Product Integrity, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries
  • Queensland Health Forensic and Scientific Services
  • Pathology Queensland, Prince Charles Hospital Laboratory
  • Queensland Herbarium Environment Protection Agency
  • Queensland Museum
  • Queensland University Department of Microbiology and Parasitology
  • Regional Laboratory Services Benalla Laboratory
  • SA Pathology trading as IMVS Woman and Children's Hospital Site 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