Pets Going Overseas
Do you want to export a pet, are you moving to another country, or do you want to take your dog or cat travelling with you overseas? Get organised well in advance! Malvern Vet Hospital’s AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) trained vet, Dr Andrea Tims, can help prepare your dog or cat with tests, treatments and immunisations (including rabies vaccines) required for international pet travel and pet export overseas.
The following is intended as a guide only to help owners who are exporting their dogs and cats without the help of a pet transport company. We highly recommend you ring us and speak to the accredited vet to find out what specifically needs to be done for your particular destination country before exporting your pet.
For all destination countries:
- At least 10 days prior to departure submit your “Notice of Intention to Export Live Animals” form to the Australian Government Department of Agriculture by fax or mail.
SE Region Animal Program
1st floor, 255 Melrose Drive
Tullamarine VIC 3043
Fax: 8308 5071.
Forms available from Malvern Vet on request – email us
- If you need to contact them, the AQIS phone number is 83186700. Choose the option for live animals, then the option for imports and ask to be transferred to exports (there is no direct number or option for this).
- An appointment with your AQIS approved vet is needed within 2 days of departure. This is typically done as an early (9am) appointment on the day prior to departure , but it can be done on the day of departure. The health and welfare examination is performed and certificate issued.
- Once the “Notice of Intention” has been approved, the department of Agriculture will contact you as the exporter to arrange the appointment for the export permit to be issued. This appointment is carried out after the appointment with the AQIS approved vet. Your dogs or cats will not generally be needed for this inspection (except for travel to some countries, eg Singapore, please check with the Dept of Agriculture). The department is located on the first floor, at 255 Melrose Drive, Tullamarine and is open between 8.30am and 12.30 am Mon – Fri. Ph: 8308 5070. You will need to take the “health and welfare” certificate, as well as any other certificates/forms prepared by your AQIS approved vet that are specific to the country of import.
- You must also take your AIRLINE APPROVED pet carrier to the airline at the airport for inspection. This is typically done on the day prior to departure. Some airlines will also require to see the dog or cat in the carrier at this time – please check with your airline. As a general guide the following pet carrier sizes apply:
PP20: animals up to 5kg
PP30: animals up to 8kg
PP40: animals up to 12kg
PP50: animals up to 18kg
PP60: animals up to 25kg
PP70: animals up to 35kg
PP80: animals 35kg+
Pets must be able to sit up with their head at a full and comfortable height, be able to turn around in the cage and lay down with legs out in front of them. Malvern Vet stocks most pet carrier sizes and can help you with cage purchase.
Right: Here is Alex’s cavvy “Red” demonstrating the proper use of an airline approved pet carrier
RETURNING TO AUSTRALIA:
When dogs and cats return to Australia they will be subject to quarantine. This period can be as long as 6 months from group 3 countries *, but if some preliminary testing is done ahead of time, the quarantine period can be reduced to 10 days.
If the pet is likely to return within two years it is recommended that they have a rabies vaccine done, and 30 days later, have a blood test (RNATT rabies serology test) done to show they have adequate antibody levels. If this test is done before the pet leaves Australia, they will qualify for the minimum 10 day quarantine period immediately. To keep this certification current, however, they will need to keep their rabies vaccine boosted according to recommendations (how long the vaccine manufacturer stipulates the immunity will last for – between 1 and 3 yeas typically). The vaccine used at Malvern Vet will give 3 years immunity.
If the pet is likely to be abroad for several years, you may elect to do the rabies serology test overseas to minimise the quarantine period on re-importation. If this option is taken your pet will need to wait for 6 months after the blood test has been done to qualify for the minimum quarantine period.
* Group 3 countries – please note this list can vary over time to accommodate Australia’s bio-security needs. Go to: www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs for up to date information
For a guide of what to do for your particular destination country go to: www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs/step-by-step-guides