Zoos wishing to import live bovid animals or their semen into Australia havereceived a greenlight following a department review, provided they meet strictnew biosecurity measures preventing 22 significant diseases including rabies,foot-and-mouth disease and Rift Valley fever, being introduced.

Currently, Australia only permits the importation of zoo bovids from NewZealand, including animals like kudu, gazelles and impala. The reviewrecommends 19 other countries be allowed to import bovid animals and theirsemen, if agreed biosecurity import conditions are met. Species includingdomestic cattle and buffalo, sheep and goats are excluded.

Head of Biosecurity, Andrew Tongue. said the review was based on expert adviceand extensive consultation with the animal industry sector and was animportant step for zoos around Australia.

“Importation of zoo bovids is a top priority for the zoo sector, to improvethe genetic diversity of existing zoo collections and contribute tointernational conservation efforts,” Mr Tongue said.

“However, it’s vital these zoo animals don’t create undue biosecurity risk toAustralia. The department has worked closely with the zoo and livestockindustries to develop conditions that will allow imports to occur safely.

“All animals imported will be held in pre-export quarantine for at least 30days.

“They will be observed for signs of disease, treated for internal and externalparasites, and tested for diseases in accordance with Australian importrequirements.

“The donor animal must be resident in an approved, licensed or registered zooor wildlife park in the exporting country since birth or for at least 12months immediately before collection, unless otherwise approved by thedepartment.”

Read the final review here: agriculture.gov.au/biosecurity/risk-analysis/animal/zoo-bovids-approved-countries

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