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Transporting samples to the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory

You must follow the guidelines listed below if you are transporting or submitting plant or animal samples for testing to the laboratory at Coopers Plains. Contact the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory on (07) 3708 8762 or email for an information package on transport options.

Samples may be submitted by:

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

Before you transport and submit the samples:

  1. Review which transport option will suit your needs best (see information below).
  2. Register an account with a courier company if you're planning to use this method of transport, as this process may take a couple of days.
  3. Request a copy of the Veterinary laboratory user's guide for advice on submitting samples.
  4. Complete a specimen advice sheet: Form A (PDF, 80KB).
  5. If your samples are urgent, call the laboratory in advance on (07) 3708 8762.
  6. Do not send samples to arrive at the laboratory on the weekend or public holidays, unless you have arranged this with the laboratory in advance.
  7. Make sure you are aware of packaging and transport requirements.

Classification of infectious substances

The classification of infectious substances helps to ensure their safe packaging and transport. The categories below can help you to determine how to transport the sample you want to send for testing.

Patient specimens

Patient specimens that are being transported for purposes such as research, diagnosis, investigational activities, disease treatment and prevention. These are samples that are collected directly from animals, including:

  • secreta
  • blood and its components
  • tissue and tissue fluid swabs
  • body parts.

Category A

Category A includes infectious substances that are transported in a form that, if exposure to it occurs, is capable of causing permanent disability, or life-threatening or fatal disease in otherwise healthy humans or animals.

Category B

Category B includes infectious substances that do not meet the Category A criteria. Infectious substances in Category B must be assigned to UN 3373. The proper shipping name of UN 3373 is 'Biological substance Category B'.

Exempt (for air transport) or Category C (for surface transport)

Specimens where there is minimal likelihood that pathogens are present (e.g. samples for biochemical or antibody tests or fixed tissues) are not subject to the International Air Transport Association (IATA) Regulations if the specimen is:

  • transported in triple packaging that prevents any leakage
  • marked with the words 'Exempt animal specimen'.

Transport options for sending samples for testing

Transport options for submitting samples to the Biosecurity Sciences Laboratory at Coopers Plains include but are not limited to:

  • Toll Priority (courier)
  • Fastway (courier)
  • Greyhound Freight (bus)
  • Australia Post (post).

Packaging and special requirements

Before sending samples with a courier company, refer to the specific requirements of the courier company and also the requirements for the packaging and transport of pathology specimens and associated materials.

If you're sending samples through Australia Post, please refer to the dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide and requirements for the packaging and transport of pathology specimens and associated materials. Biological Substances, Category B sent through Australian Post must be lodged at an Australian Post Office and sent by a qualified veterinary surgeon.

If you're sending samples via Greyhound Freight, please refer to the requirements for the packaging and transport of pathology specimens and associated materials and you must request courier delivery from the bus depot to the laboratory.

Delivery times to Coopers Plains

Toll Priority usually delivers overnight to Coopers Plains.

Delivery times with other courier companies and Australia Post depend on the location of sender.