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Moving your pet

If you own a cat or dog, the good news is you can take them with you. However all other types of domestic animals, including rabbits, guinea pigs, birds, snakes and mice, are not permitted for import into Australia.

Using a qualified and reputable pet relocation company can help to remove the stress and strain from what is often an emotional time for owners and their pets. You can find out what conditions apply for your country of origin, and how long your pet will need to remain in quarantine, at the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQUIS) website

Preparing your pet for the move

  • Get your pet checked by your vet before the move, to make sure they are able to cope with the journey. If your vet suggests that your animal is too old or weak for international travel, try to find your pet a new home with a friend of family member.
  • Begin to crate-train your pet for the trip as soon as you can. Your pet will have to travel as cargo on an international flight,and as it is a long-haul flight (possibly with some transfers), getting them used to sitting in the crate will help them to feel more relaxed and secure.
  • Get the prequisite tests and blood tests done by your vet. These should be started about 28 days prior to departure. Your vet will need to record these on your pet’s Export Health Certificate. A rabies vaccination is not required.
  • Each pet will also need an Import Permit for one of Australia’s three State Quarantine Stations (you can choose from Melbourne, Perth & Sydney). These are valid for a period of six months. Once the import permit has been issued, you can go ahead and arrange quarantine at your chosen station. Under Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) rules, all pets must serve a mandatory period of 30 days quarantine.

The travel process

You won’t need a Pet Passport for your pet unless you think your pet may return to the UK, then you may want to consider obtaining one to avoid the statutory six month quarantine period. Your pet must travel in an airline-approved travel container that meets IATA (International Air Transport Association) standards. Once inside the crate, your pet must have enough room to stand up, lie down, sit up and turn around. All pets imported to Australia must travel as manifested cargo. Direct flights are best where possible, as they reduce the stress and strain on your pet. Nowadays, pets advise against sedating your animals during travel, as the effect of sedatives can cause problems at high altitude.

In quarantine

When your pet arrives in Australia, it will be taken directly to your specified quarantine station to serve the 30-day quarantine period. During that time, you will be allowed to visit your pet. The cost of food and boarding is included in the quarantine fees, but any additional veterinary treatment required during the quarantine period is extra.

Questions to ask your pet movers

  • How long have you been transporting pets?
  • What are your policies and procedures?
  • Are you licensed and insured?
  • What does your insurance cover?
  • How often do you stay in contact with me during the trip?
  • What are your fees?
  • What do you do with animals that stay with you overnight?
  • What supplies should I pack with my pet?

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