Importing frozen canine semen from approved countries

  • ​Frozen canine semen coming to Australia from approved countries does not require an import permit provided the standard import conditions are met in full.
    • The requirements detailed in BICON take precedence over any other source of information. The information below is to help importers, exporters, veterinarians and pet transport agents meet biosecurity requirements ..
    • Frozen canine semen must comply with all import conditions.
    • Failure to comply with the import conditions may result in the frozen canine semen being (at your cost):
      •  exported
      •  destroyed.
  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must perform all veterinary procedures listed below.
  • All donor dog testing must be conducted in an approved country in a laboratory recognised by the competent authority of the country of export.
  • A separate veterinary health certificate DOCX  [90 KB, 6 pages] must be completed for each donor dog.
  • The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources recommends that you take this information to your Government Approved Veterinarian to ensure the canine semen meets Australia’s import conditions.
  • If a variation or dispensation to any of the import conditions is required, you will need to apply for an import permit through BICON . Your application will be assessed and if alternative conditions can be applied an import permit may be granted. Applying for an import permit does not guarantee that your variation or dispensation will be approved.

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Step 1: Contact the competent authority
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Contact the competent authority in the country of export to find out:
    • which veterinarians are approved to collect the canine semen and which laboratories are approved to test the blood samples collected from the donor dog
    • if the country of export has any requirements in addition to those stated on this webpage and in BICON.
    • if the country of export has an agreed veterinary health certificate to use in place of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources standard veterinary health certificate DOCX [90 KB, 6 pages].
  • The department recommends that you take this information to your Government Approved Veterinarian or canine semen transport agent to help you understand the requirements.

Step 2: Confirm general eligibility
Timeframe: Before starting the export process

  • Frozen canine semen can only be imported to Australia from a department approved country.
  • Donor dogs must have been continuously resident in an approved country and not be under quarantine restriction during and between the first and last semen collections.

Step 3: Verifying existing microchip or implant a new microchip
Timeframe: Before starting semen collection

If the microchip is recorded incorrectly on the semen straws/cryovials or the donor dog's documentation, the canine semen cannot be imported to Australia.

Step 4: Check vaccinations
Timeframe: Dependent on the validity of the donor dog’s vaccination and at least 14 days before the first semen collection

Donor dogs may be vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola as an alternative to the testing outlined under Step 10

If you choose to do this, dogs must be fully vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola, according to manufacturer’s recommendations, at least 14 days before the first semen collection. The vaccination must be valid at the time of the last semen collection for the export consignment. Most Leptospira vaccines require an initial course of two vaccines 2-4 weeks apart followed by yearly boosters.

Step 5: Canine semen collection
Timeframe: Day of semen collection

In the case of pellets, the cryovials must be suitable for maintaining the product’s integrity during storage and transport.

Step 6: Storing and packaging canine semen for export
Timeframe: After semen collection

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or an Official Government Veterinarian must supervise the storage of canine semen from collection until the shipping container is sealed for export.
  • The canine semen must be stored (from the date of collection) in shipping containers that:
    • contain no other biological material than canine semen of equivalent health status
    • are filled with new liquid nitrogen only
    • are new or have been emptied (any loose straws/cryovials removed) and disinfected with 2% available chlorine or Virkon at the manufacturer’s recommended rate, or irradiated at 50Kgray.
  • The shipping container must be sealed with an official government seal and the Official Government Veterinarian must record the official seal number on the veterinary health certificate DOCX [90 KB, 6 pages].

Step 7: Final examination of donor dog after semen collection
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment

The dog must be examined by a Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian and found to be healthy and free from infectious or contagious diseases (including venereally transmitted diseases) within 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment.

Step 8: Testing for Brucella canis (Brucellosis)
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection in the export consignment

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must take a blood sample from the donor dog 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment and test it for Brucella canis using a rapid slide agglutination test (RSAT), a tube agglutination test (TAT) or an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) .
  • The test must produce a negative result.

Step 9: Testing for Leishmania infantum (Leishmaniasis)
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must take a blood sample from the donor dog 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment and test it for Leishmania infantum using either an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) or an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA).
  • The test must produce a negative result.

Step 10: Testing for Leptospira canicola (Leptospirosis)
Timeframe: Within 30-45 days after the last semen collection in the export consignment

Please read Step 4 - this step only applies if the donor dog has not been vaccinated against Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola.

  • A Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian must take a blood sample from the donor dog 30-45 days after the last semen collection for the export consignment and test it for Leptospira interrogans serovar Canicola using a microscopic agglutination test (MAT).
  • The test must produce a negative result (less than 50% agglutination) at a serum dilution of 1:100.

Step 11: Completion of veterinary health certificate
Timeframe: After semen collection and before the date of export

Important: It is your responsibility to ensure you are using the correct and most contemporary version of the veterinary health certificate DOCX [90 KB, 6 pages]. To ensure this is the case, the department strongly recommends that you download the latest version prior to each shipment.

Step 12: Export to Australia

Notify the department by emailing the department’s regional office in the state/territory in which the consignment will first arrive in Australia, at least three (3) days before it arrives.

Regional Office Email
Australian Capital Territory ACT Rego Office
New South Wales CER Animal Imports
Victoria SE Animal
Queensland QLD Live Animal Imports
South Australia SA Live Animal Imports
Western Australia WA Live Animal Imports
​Northern TerritoryNT Live Animal Imports and NT Airport Controller

General inquiry: 1800 900 090 or + 61 3 8318 6700 (from outside Australia)

For more office locations visit: Office locations 

  • Your email must include:
    • ​the date and estimated time of arrival
    • the flight number/ship number
    • the airway bill number
    • a contact phone number in Australia.

Consignments of frozen canine semen must be shipped to the Australian person-in-charge/owner/agent care of the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources regional office in the Australian state/territory of import.

  • Consignments must not be sent to Australia by international mail.
  • Each consignment must be accompanied by a completed veterinary health certificate DOCX [90 KB, 6 pages](s)  and copies of any laboratory reports

Step 13: Inspection and release from biosecurity control

  • The owner/person-in-charge must make an appointment for the inspection of the goods and documentation by the department. The owner/person-in-charge or their nominated agent must be present at the inspection .
  • On arrival, the consignment will be subject to biosecurity control where it will remain until a biosecurity officer has completed the physical inspection of the consignment and all required documentation.
  • A biosecurity officer will check the consignment and verify all details match the import conditions and veterinary health certificate DOCX [90 KB, 6 pages].
  • If acceptable, the consignment will be released from biosecurity control. If not, the consignment may be subject to treatment, export or destruction or additional documents may be requested.
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