Conditions for importing live animals into Australia for laboratory research

Recognised scientific institutions in Australia may be permitted to import animals for laboratory research. Only certain permitted species may be imported from approved countries.

All imports of live animals require an import permit and applications are assessed case-by case. In some instances, import permit applications may need to be referred to external agencies or other government departments for additional expert advice.

Detailed import requirements for laboratory animals can be found by searching the Biosecurity Import Conditions (BICON) system. Use a common or scientific name, or class of animal to streamline your search. Applications for import permits are also submitted through BICON .

For further information about importing invertebrate species for laboratory research, refer to the invertebrate animals page.

All species proposed for import must be listed on the List of Specimens Suitable for Live Import, maintained by the Australian Government Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment. Additionally, importers must check whether an import permit will also be required from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment.

Approved arrangement site

Prior to applying for a permit to import animals for laboratory research, applicants must establish or have access to an approved facility for the isolation of the species they intend to import. This is known as an Approved Arrangement site and it must comply with the criteria for the required class of Approved Arrangement.

See the Approved Arrangements website for more information, including conditions of approval and Approved Arrangement site applications.

You can also contact Audit Services for more details.

Contact us

If you require further information about the import of laboratory animals, please phone 1 800 900 090 or email the Animal and Biological Import Assessments Branch.

If you hold an import permit for laboratory animals, and require further information, please contact the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment office in your local region. Alternatively, refer to the contact details of the department’s regional offices, as listed on your import permit.

Last reviewed: 11 September 2020
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