17 October 2023
We invite you to comment on the draft review by 4pm on 15 December 2023.
The draft report is available for review and comment on our Have Your Say website.
The Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry has conducted a review of the biosecurity risks associated with importing dehydrated and pre-sterilised microbiological media from all countries. This draft report is now available for stakeholder comment on our Have Your Say page.
Microbiological media refers to a large subset of culture media products imported into Australia for a wide range of laboratory purposes including human and veterinary diagnostics, food safety testing, and scientific research. Australia does not manufacture microbiological media or its key constituent ingredients in sufficiently large quantities to provide the required range of necessary laboratory services. Therefore, it is essential for Australia to import microbiological media.
Currently, imported microbiological media requires a case-by-case assessment. However, many microbiological media products are highly processed and require sterilisation prior to use which provides inherent biosecurity risk mitigation for most significant disease agents other than bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) and scrapie. Biosecurity measures are used to manage the risk of these disease agents entering Australia in imported microbiological media products.
This review aims to modernise Australia’s dehydrated and pre-sterilised microbiological media import conditions to reflect the inherent biosecurity risk mitigation. It considers the biosecurity risks associated with importing (from any country) dehydrated and pre-sterilised microbiological media. It takes into account new and relevant peer-reviewed scientific information, international standards, relevant changes in industry practices and operational practicalities.
The key proposed import conditions are:
- Assurance that the goods are dehydrated microbiological media or pre-sterilised microbiological media
- Dehydrated microbiological media is imported in volumes of ≤ 5 L / 5 kg per individually packaged unit
- Specific biosecurity measures to manage the risks of BSE and scrapie in imported dehydrated and pre-sterilised microbiological media.
The department invites comments on the review, in particular the technical aspects of the proposed risk management measures associated with the importation of dehydrated and pre-sterilised microbiological media. All submissions received on the draft report will be carefully considered by Animal Biosecurity in finalising this review.
Submissions should be received by 4pm on 15 December 2023 through the Have Your Say page.
To receive information and updates on biosecurity risk analyses subscribe to Biosecurity Risk Analysis Animal at subscribe.agriculture.gov.au/subscribe. Subscribers will receive biosecurity advice notices and other notifications about animal biosecurity policy.
Dr Peter Finnin
Assistant Secretary Animal Biosecurity