Submitting Samples From Within Australia


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1. Sample Collection and Labelling

Where serum is the required sample, blood should be collected into serum separator tubes (SST) or plain tubes. Tubes should be centrifuged and the serum separated off into a separate plastic, sealable tube prior to submission. Prior to submission, inspect the serum to ensure it is clear, as haemolysed samples may not be suitable for testing. Please ensure that at least 1 mL of clear serum is submitted to ensure sufficient volume is available for diagnostic testing.

It is important for the purposes of quarantine compliance that all sample tubes are directly and clearly labelled with the animal’s name AND unique microchip number (where applicable). Failure to do so may result in diagnostic reports being unacceptable to quarantine authorities.

2. Submission Paperwork

All samples submitted to AAHL for diagnostic testing must be accompanied by a completed AAHL submission form. When submitting samples from multiple animals belonging to a single owner:

  • If individual reports are required, please use a separate submission form for each animal.
  • Alternatively, all animals may be included on one submission form. In this case, a single report will be issued detailing all test results.

Please ensure that the microchip number listed on the paperwork is correct and matches the number on the sample tube exactly. Please contact the relevant government agency of the importing country to determine the specific tests required. Please be as specific as possible when listing the required tests on the submission paperwork.

3. Sample Packaging

All samples submitted to AAHL must be packaged and shipped in accordance with IATA packaging requirements. Samples sent through Australia Post must also comply with Australia Post’s ‘Dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide’.

IATA and Australia Post regulations allow samples collected from healthy animals, where there is no clinical suspicion of disease, to be shipped as ‘Exempt Animal Specimens’. The submitter is responsible for ensuring that the samples meet the criteria for exemption. For further information, please refer to the IATA Dangerous Goods Regulations 3.6.2 Division 6.2 and Australia Post’s ‘Dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide’ section D10.3.

NB: Samples from animals with clinical disease must not be shipped as ‘Exempt Animal Specimens’ and are subject to more stringent regulations. Please contact AAHL accessions if you wish to submit a case for clinical disease testing.

If you are in Australia and are suspicious of an exotic animal disease, please contact your local government veterinary officer or the Emergency Animal Disease Watch Hotline on 1800-675-888 immediately.


Diagnostic samples can only be consigned by a registered veterinary surgeon. It is the responsibility of the shipper to ensure that samples are packaged in accordance with IATA regulations and Australia Post’s ‘Dangerous and prohibited goods and packaging guide’.


As a guide, non-infectious serum samples should be packaged as follows:

  • Serum should be placed into a primary receptacle. The primary receptacle must be leak-proof.
  • The primary receptacle must be placed inside leak-proof secondary packaging, along with sufficient absorbent cushioning material to absorb the entire volume of serum were it to leak during transport. NB: Multiple serum samples may be placed within one secondary receptacle provided there is sufficient absorbent material to absorb the entire contents of all primary receptacles in the event of a leak.
  • The secondary packaging must be placed into outer packaging of adequate strength to prevent damage during transport, and with at least one surface having minimum dimensions of 100 mm × 100 mm. Sufficient cushioning material should be placed between the secondary and outer packaging to prevent the sample from damage during transport. Please ensure a completed AAHL submission form is placed inside the outer packaging.

The external surface of the outer package and/or outer wrapping should be marked with:

  • Name and address of the sender and receiver
  • Name and telephone number of the person responsible for the shipment
  • The words ‘Exempt Animal Specimen’

Please see the table below for examples of suitable containers and packaging materials.

Examples of suitable materials for the packaging of ‘Exempt Animal Specimens’

Receptable Type

Examples of appropriate containers and/or packaging materials

Primary receptacle (containing serum)
  • Screw cap sterile sample tube
  • Screw cap centrifuge tubes
  • Plain Blood tube
Absorbent material
  • Cotton wool
  • Combine dressing
Secondary packaging
  • Biohazard bag
  • Snap-lock plastic bag
  • Plastic bottle with screw lid
Cushioning material
  • Cotton wool
  • Shredded newspaper
  • Bubble wrap
Outer packaging
  • Despatch satchel
  • Plastic box
  • Cardboard box
  • Supported polystyrene box

4. Specimens should be consigned to:

Accessions Administrator
CSIRO Australian Animal Health Laboratory (AAHL)
5 Portarlington Rd
East Geelong VIC 3219
Australia

Samples may be consigned via standard post or an appropriate courier service.

5. Registered Users

If you are likely to submit samples to AAHL regularly, please consider becoming a ‘registered user’. Registered users are able to access copies of all relevant up-to-date paperwork and are able to submit submission forms via our online portal. To express your interest in registering, please complete the online enquiry form and our accessions team will assist you.

6. Contact Details

If you have any queries relating to the sample collection and submission process, please contact AAHL accessions on:

Phone: +61 3 5227 5414

Email: aahl-accessions@csiro.au


7. Request Paperwork

To receive a copy of the relevant paperwork required for a sample submission within Australia, please follow this link and select "Within Australia: Request Sample Submission Pack" under Enquiry Type

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