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Importing semen and embryos (germplasm)

Strict biosecurity measures, testing procedures, and requirements are in place for importing animal semen and embryos (germplasm).

In this section

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Inspections of imported frozen germplasm

Inspection update – 18 August 2020

Due to the border restrictions in place because of COVID-19, we are suspending all germplasm inspections until further notice.

Inspection update – 1 July 2020

Random inspections of germplasm consignments are resuming from 1 August 2020. Inspections had initially started in March 2020, but were suspended due to restrictions relating to COVID-19.

The inspections will be carried out for a 12 month trial period ending on 1 August 2021.

The following germplasm will be randomly selected for inspection:

  • frozen embryos and semen from horses, cattle, sheep, goats, and deer
  • frozen semen from dogs.

All consignments of sheep semen pellets will be inspected.

Laboratory animal germplasm and fresh canine and equine semen will not be inspected.

Details of the trial are in the information sheet:

Inspection of frozen germplasm [PDF, 366 KB]

Approved species and countries

You can only import semen or embryos (germplasm) from certain animal species and countries:

  • alpaca and llama embryos from Australia
  • bee semen from Austria and Germany
  • cattle embryos from Australia, Canada, USA, EU, UK, and Switzerland
  • cattle semen from Australia, Canada, USA, EU, Switzerland, UK, and Norway
  • deer germplasm from Australia, and UK
  • horse semen from Australia, Canada, UK, USA, EU, Switzerland and Norway
  • laboratory animal (rats, mice, and zebra fish) germplasm into containment only
  • pig semen from Australia, Norway, New Caledonia, USA, and Canada
  • sheep and goat germplasm from Australia, UK, France, and Canada
  • zoo zebra semen from Australia and USA

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing semen or embryos, email