Biosecurity Advice 2016/33 - Importation of frozen bovine in-vitro produced embryos from Canada and the United States – draft review

16 November 2016

This Biosecurity Advice invites stakeholders to provide comments by 16 December 2016 on the Importation of frozen bovine in-vitro produced embryos from Canada and the United States – draft review.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources initiated this review following a request from the ruminant germplasm industry through the Ruminant Genetics Trade Advisory Group in 2015. The review takes into account current scientific information, international standards developed by the World Organisation for Animal Health and the International Embryo Transfer Society (IETS), as well as policies adopted for the importation of frozen bovine in-vivo produced embryos from Canada, the United States, the European Union, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norway and Sweden.

This draft review has identified and categorised hazards of biosecurity concern associated with the importation of frozen bovine in-vitro produced embryos from Canada and the United States from oocytes collected from live donors. In-vitro embryos produced from abbotoir derived oocytes were not inclued in the scope of the risk review. Risk assessments of disease agents have been undertaken as required.

The review proposes that:

  • Biosecurity measures be applied to manage the following diseases : infection with Schmallenberg virus, bluetongue, bovine viral diarrhoea, enzootic bovine leucosis, epizootic haemorrhagic disease, foot and mouth disease, infectious bovine rhinotracheitis/infectious pustular vulvovaginitis(bovine herpes virus 1), lumpy skin disease, Rift Valley fever, vesicular stomatitis, brucellosis (B. abortus and B. melitensis) bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), and contagious bovine pleuropneumonia.
  • and

  • The standards as recommended by the World Animal Health Organisation Terrestrial Animal Health Code(OIE Code 2016) and the Manual of the IETS (IETS Manual 2010) be applied to sanitary collection of oocytes from live donors, sanitory processing of oocytes to embryo stage and to freezing and storage of in-vitro produced embryos.

The department invites comments on the technical aspects of the proposed biosecurity measures associated with the importation of frozen bovine in-vitro produced embryos. In particular, comments are sought on their appropriateness and any other measures stakeholders consider would provide equivalent risk management outcomes.

Comments on the draft report should be submitted by 16 December 2016.

The draft report is available via the department’s website​.

All submissions received on the draft review will be carefully considered by Animal Biosecurity in finalising the review of existing policy.

Please pass this notice to other interested parties. If those parties wish to be included in future communications on this matter they should contact Animal Biosecurity.

Lodging a submission: There is no specific format for a submission, but they must be in writing, and identify the relevant technical biosecurity issues being raised with supporting evidence. Preferably, submissions should be in Microsoft Word or other text-based formats and lodged electronically via email, but postal submissions are acceptable. Submissions should be received by the department within the stated comment period and addressed to:

Animal Biosecurity
Australian Government Department of Agriculture and Water Resources
GPO Box 858
Canberra ACT 2601
Telephone: +61 2 6272 4465
Facsimile: +61 2 6272 3856
Email: Animal

Privacy: Personal information collected by the department will only be used to enable the department to contact you about your submission and may be disclosed to specialists, another Commonwealth government agency, a State or Territory government agency or foreign government department, provided the disclosure is consistent with relevant laws, in particular the Privacy Act 1988.

The department requests that, as a minimum, you provide your name and contact details with your submission. Please indicate if you do not wish to have personal information published with your submission or disclosed to third parties. Collected personal information will be used and stored consistent with the Australian Privacy Principles as outlined in the department’s Privacy Policy available on the department’s website.

Confidentiality: Subject to the Freedom of Information Act 1982 and the Privacy Act 1988, content of submissions may be made public, unless you state you want all or part of your submission to be treated as confidential. A claim for confidentiality must be justified and provided as an attachment, marked ‘Confidential’. ‘Confidential’ material will not be made public. The department reserves the right not to publish submissions.

No breach of confidence will occur if the department shares your submission with a third party referred to under ‘Privacy’ in seeking advice in response to your submission.

Intellectual property: Responsibility for compliance with Intellectual Property Rights (IPR) in submissions rests with the author(s). In lodging a submission, you warrant you have not knowingly infringed any third party IPR.  By lodging a submission, you grant the Commonwealth a permanent, irrevocable, royalty-free, world-wide, non-exclusive licence to use, copy, reproduce, adapt, communicate and exploit all or any of the material contained in the submission.


Dr Andrew Cupit
Assistant Secretary
Animal Biosecurity

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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