Semen and embryos

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

Inspections of imported frozen germplasm

COVID-19 update – 25 March 2020

Germplasm inspections are be suspended until further notice.

Inspection update – 26 Feb 2020

From 1 March 2020, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) will be randomly selecting consignments of frozen semen and embryos (germplasm) for inspection.

All pelleted sheep semen imports will be inspected.

Laboratory animal germplasm and fresh canine and equine semen imports will not be held for inspection.

Find out more about the inspections [PDF, 579 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 and Switzerland
  • cattle semen from Australia, Canada, USA, EU, Switzerland and Norway
  • deer germplasm from Australia and UK
  • horse semen from Australia, Canada, USA and EU
  • 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, United Kingdom, France and Canada
  • zoo zebra semen from Australia and USA

Who to contact

If you have questions about importing semen or embryos, email

Last reviewed: