Moving to Australia with your Pets
Relocating to a strange country is stressful at the best of times, and if you are bringing the family pet along, that takes it to a whole new level. There is good news, however, as the Australian government shortened the quarantine periods in 2014, which makes it much less stressful for the animal. People can find a long flight stressful, so imagine how it feels for a dog or cat to be transported across the world, only to be held in a strange place by strange people? If you are planning to bring the family pet when you relocate to Australia, here is some essential information.
The Red Tape
The Australian Department of Agriculture is responsible for importing pets into the country, and providing you follow the strict guidelines, the whole process should be smooth and uneventful. These conditions very much depend on where you are importing your pet from, and the main purpose is to protect the country against diseases such as rabies. The Department’s website makes the process quite easy, and they even have an online tool where you can select your country of origin and then simply follow the online instructions that will explain each stage of the process. Unless you are coming from New Zealand, you will have to apply for an import permit and this can be done online. There is a charge for this, and you will also have to cover the cost of the animal’s quarantine stay, but it can be paid online. This import permit must be received before you leave for Australia, otherwise the animal will not be allowed to disembark from the aircraft.
Your dog or cat must have a microchip implant before arriving and this is stipulated at the very outset, along with a rabies vaccination. The chip must be in place before a rabies antibody titer test is carried out, and the results of this test must be given by an approved lab. This test ensures that your pet’s antibody count is adequate to protect them against rabies
Long haul flights are always stressful for animals and your dog or cat will have to be booked in well in advance, as not all flights are able to carry pets. The best thing to do is to put your pet inside the carrier cage very often, and they will not be so stressed when the big day arrives. It is never a good idea to sedate an animal, unless of course, it is absolutely necessary, and if you are concerned about the effects of a long flight, consult your vet about this.
All animals entering Australia must go through the quarantine process, but don’t worry as the people who look after them will do everything they can to make your pet feel comfortable. If your pet is healthy and all the paperwork is in order, you can expect to be reunited after only ten days, and then you can take the animal to explore their new home.
You would need to begin the process at least 6 months prior to your intended arrival date, and with an easy to navigate website, the Department of Agriculture has made things very easy. Unfortunately, you will not be able to visit your pet during the 10 day quarantine period, so say goodbye when you are checking in at in your home country and the next time you see each other will be when you collect him from the quarantine station and take him to his new home.