Australian Immigration: Pet Travel

Migrating to Australia can seem like a daunting prospect, especially if you do not want to leave your furry family members behind. Luckily, the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) exists to assist international visitors with pets.

Of course it is also important to protect Australia’s own wildlife from foreign diseases. For this reason, most family dogs and cats are required to be quarantined.

Just like humans, some pets are afraid of flying. It is important that you prepare them for the trip to Australia.

Different airlines and airports have different rules for people travelling with pets so be sure to review the regulations of your airline before you depart. There are also travel agents with specialised knowledge of pet travel who can make recommendations with regard to taking your pet from one country to another.

On her website, Australian vet Dr Katrina Warren recommends pet owners assess their animals travel needs well before the date of departure. If your pet does not like travelling in a car, Dr Warren suggests introducing him or her to a travelling crate about a month before the flight.

Just as when easing a new pet into your home, it is helpful to place familiar toys or items of clothing in the crate so your pet is accustomed to this new environment.

Dr Warren also advises pet owners to exercise their dog or cat before travelling to help them sleep on the plane. To avoid any nasty accidents during the flight, do not allow your pet to eat on the day you leave.

Once you arrive in Australia, most animals will have to go through a period of quarantine. The only dogs and cats allowed to enter Australia without undergoing this process are those from New Zealand, the Cocos Islands and Norfolk Island.

AQIS has divided quarantine levels into six categories. The category your pet falls into depends upon the country you are departing from on your way to Australia. To see which category your pet belongs to, visit: www.daff.gov.au/aqis/cat-dogs.

There are three quarantine stations located around Australia: two on the East coast in Spotswood, Melbourne and in Eastern Creek, Sydney and one on the West coast in Byford, Perth.

AQIS warns all pet owners immigrating or working in Australia to be wary of heat stress in their dog or cat. Australian temperatures regularly reach 35 degrees Celsius during summer months and pets may be affected more easily than people.

Quarantine costs are expensive and should be taken into consideration before you travel, especially if you are only staying in Australia on a temporary visa. Some dogs and cats face a minimum of 60 days in quarantine, so if you are only staying for six months, it may not be worth the hassle.

Here is a quick overview of Australian quarantine costs for one dog quarantined for one month:

  • Entry fee – $15.00
  • Vet fee – $80.00 (per 30 minutes)
  • Document fee – $40.00
  • Rate – $1170.00 (30 x $39.00 daily rate)
  • Total = $1305.00

And for one cat quarantined for one month:

  • Entry fee – $15.00
  • Vet fee – $80.00 (per 30 minutes)
  • Document fee – $40.00
  • Rate – $870.00 (30 x $29.00 daily rate)
  • Total = $1005.00



Source by Sally Deborah Webster

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