Summary Two European laboratories independently detected atypical bovine pestiviral nucleic acids in three commercial batches of foetal bovine serum (FBS) that was claimed by the producers to be of Australian origin. Additional batches of FBS were obtained directly from Australia to exclude possible contamination of the Australian FBS with that of South American origin during manufacturing/packaging in European countries. RT-PCR amplification of partial 5′untranslated region and the complete Npro gene yielded a specific band with expected size, which was confirmed by DNA sequencing. Bayesian analysis of sequence data demonstrated a closer phylogenetic relation of the newly detected atypical bovine pestiviruses to those of South American origin, which were related to the recognized bovine pestivirus species, bovine viral diarrhoea virus. Taken together, the results indicated the presence of atypical bovine pestiviruses in the Australian FBS, and most likely in Australian Continent.