Collection and Submission of Samples

If there is a suspicion of an exotic animal disease or if the material may pose a danger to staff (zoonotic material) e.g. Anthrax, Lyssavirus - please notify laboratory staff prior to submission.

The most meaningful test results depend on the quality and type of the specimens collected and the manner in which they are submitted. Submitting a larger range of tissues/fluids (both fresh and formalin fixed) for testing will increase the likelihood of a diagnosis. These samples will be held while initial examination/testing is being performed.

Please note: inadequate specimens, poorly collected or labelled specimens or specimens stored and dispatched in an unsatisfactory manner may not be examined by the laboratory.​

​All samples must be submitted​:

  • ​​​in clearly labelled leak proof container,

  • cleaned of any contaminants e.g. spilt blood, faeces etc.,

  • securely stoppered,

  • filled to the recommended volume,

  • kept to a minimum transit time,

  • kept cool and out of direct sunlight,

  • subjected to minimum mechanical shock.​

Submissions must be accompanied by a fully completed, signed specimen advice form with sufficient history and clinical details to all the pathologist to interpret test results and provide a meaningful diagnosis.

  AHL Laboratory Submission form   (183Kb)

All submissions, except Wormtests and Water Microbiology samples, must have a nominated veterinarian.

Submitters are responsible for the transport of samples to the laboratory. IATA regulations for the safe packaging for pathological materials or specimens apply.

Specimens must be clearly labelled with an animal ID, owner and date. Refer to laboratory fee schedule or to individual laboratory guidelines for a list of preferred samples. Contact the laboratory for more information on the type of specimens required.

  Animal Health Laboratories Current Fees   (257Kb)

Samples should be in an appropriate sealed container, wrapped in absorbent material (e.g. paper towel, cottonwool, etc.) placed in a plastic bag and then packed into the Esky with enough packing material (e.g. newspaper) to stop the sample moving in transit.

Note: Syringes, with or without needles, and gloves are a safety hazard and not considered appropriate containers and may be discarded without testing

All material (samples and carcasses) submitted to the Animal Health Laboratory is considered to be infectious and cannot be returned to the property or submitter.

Interstate Samples​​​​

Special conditions apply to samples being submitted from mainland Australia. The duty pathologist must be contacted before samples are submitted.

Only diagnostic samples may be submitted and must be packed in accordance with IATA 602 or 650 requirements as appropriate. Samples must be accompanied by a copy of a Special Authority to Import Diagnostic Samples, which will be provided by the Animal Health Laboratory.

Samples must not contain any Tasmanian List A disease agents​​.

More information​

For more information, refer to the laboratory's LabFacts (guidelines) or contact the laboratory. ​


Animal Health Laboratory - Specimen Reception

(Postal) PO Box 46,
(Delivery) 165 Westbury Road,