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Australia: Summary information and requirements for importing cats and dogs from England, Wales and Scotland only.
For full and current information which is updated on a continual basis please see AQIS official website
Dogs and cats must be shipped in IATA approved transit kennels that allow the animal to stand up and sit up without touching the top of the box, lie down in a natural position and turn around. It is a requirement that dogs and cats are shipped to Australia as manifest cargo and not as excess baggage. In order to cost, we need weights and accurate measurements of your pets.
There are currently only two Quarantine Kennels in Australia based in Melbourne (Spotswood) and Sydney (Eastern Creek) so animals must enter Australia at one of these airports. If you are unable to collect your pet(s), arrangements for movement of pets from these Kennels to other cities in Australia may be possible at the end of the quarantine period but would have to be made with a pet moving company based in Australia. The quarantine kennels themselves will probably be able to point you in the right direction as this is not an unusual request. Melbourne (Spotswood) is the smaller quarantine kennel so you must confirm direct with them that there is space for your pet(s) before we make the booking with the airline. Eastern Creek Quarantine Station in Sydney generally has availability for dogs and cats at any time. However, we always recommend that you contact the station directly to discuss availability. This is likely to change in late 2015 when the Sydney lease runs out leaving the new facility at Mickleham near Melbourne as the only Quarantine premises in Australia. Waiting times can be more than 3 months from when you speak to them especially with cats.
New Rules - For all Import Permits issued after 3rd December 2013, flight date must be on or after 3rd February 2014 - process as follows:
Procedure for both Dogs and Cats
Procedure for both Dogs and Cats
Ring DEFRA/AHVLA – Carlisle 01228 403600 option 1 then option 4 or email your enquiry to Petexports.firstname.lastname@example.org. (This will be changing to Petexports.email@example.com) Ask for application forms (Export Health Certificate and EXA1) for cat/dog going to Australia along with vet regulations.
For both Dogs and Cats:Export Health Certificate application form DEFRA Exp App Form EXA1
For Dogs: DEFRA Export Health Certificate 2580 Australia Dog along with notes to help fill in this application DEFRA Export Application 2580EHC Notes for Guidance and PDF Export Application Info
For Cats: DEFRA Export Health Certificate 2432 Australia Cat along with notes to help fill in this application DEFRA Export Application 2432EHC Notes for Guidance and PDF Export Application InfoPlease be aware that the DEFRA documents above may not be completely up to date.
Australia considers the UK (and the rest of the EU) to be a category 3 country. Your pet will spend a minimum of 10 days in quarantine. Category 3 rules mean that at least 7 months prior to entry into Australia you will need to ensure that your pet is microchipped and then vaccinated against rabies. Puppies and kittens must not be vaccinated against rabies at less than 3 months of age. A blood sample for a rabies blood test (RNATT) must be taken about a month after this. Your pet will not be allowed to fly until at least 180 days has elapsed from this date. Rabies blood sample/test is valid for up to 24 months prior to entry. Rabies vaccination is also required to be current and there needs to be an unbroken record since the blood test - check validity period - dependent on manufacturer, vaccination can be valid for either 1 or 3 years. Please see DEFRA (AHVLA) Export Heath Certificate and Australian DAFF Website for full rules. DAFF category 3 step by step guide for dogs and DAFF category 3 step by step guide for cats
Step 2Once you have the Rabies blood test laboratory report, apply for import permit(s). Timing - ideally not less than 10 weeks prior to proposed export date. Your vet will need to complete the RNATT declaration form. You will need to complete the Veterinary declaration form. Both forms will need to be scanned into your computer and attached to the application along with a copy of the blood test laboratory report (Biobest or AHVLA only). The Import Permit is currently valid for up to one year. You need an Import permit before you can book space with the relevant Quarantine Station. The Import Permit should be obtained from Australian Quarantine Import Services. Application forms can be obtained from the DAFF website Import Permit Application Guide - the application must be lodged electronically or faxed / sent with card payment details to Canberra (see below for contact numbers). Cost AUD 485 for first animal if submitted electronically then AUD 245 for each subsequent animal or if submitted manually AUD 585 for first animal then AUD 345 for each subsequent animal – so it is better to do it electronically from their website. All animals must be microchipped and rabies blood tested before an Import Permit can be applied for. One application form must be completed for each animal.
Canberra - AQIS Live Animals Import - Permit Applications Tel: 0061 2 6272 4454
Canberra - AQIS Live Animals Import - Permit Applications Fax: 0061 2 6272 3110
Once you have the permit and as soon as you know the rough date you would like the animal(s) to travel and preferably at least 2 months prior (otherwise you will be taking a risk that there is no space) contact relevant Quarantine Kennel and ensure that there is space for your pet(s).
Make provisional reservation with relevant quarantine station before making flight booking with us.
Sydney - Eastern Creek Quarantine Station, New South Wales Phone: 0061 2 9625 4566 Melbourne - Spotswood Animal Quarantine Station, Victoria Phone: 0061 3 9391 1627
Sydney - Eastern Creek Quarantine Station, New South Wales Phone: 0061 2 9625 4566
Melbourne - Spotswood Animal Quarantine Station, Victoria Phone: 0061 3 9391 1627
Once we confirm the flight booking, go back to them and reconfirm exact date of arrival, import permit number(s), flight number and Airwaybill number (which we will provide). Follow this up with e-mail to them.
You will also have to pay for the quarantine charges prior to arrival.
From the UK it is a requirement that dogs and cats complete a minimum 10 days in Quarantine.
Minimum Quarantine charges for Dogs and Cats from 1st July 2014
Current minimum costs (last checked 04/07/14) A$1490.00 (10 days at A$149.00) for each dog or cat. Other charges include examination of the animal at A$40.00 per animal per quarter-hour (majority of cases require half an hour). Lodgement of a quarantine entry form is A$15.00 per animal. Documentation clearance is A$40.00 per animal and a further A$40.00 per quarter hour if additional information is required. Veterinary treatment and supplies are extra and at cost.
Please check http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs/quarantine-facilities-and-fees for more information and up to date charges.
Now that you have the exact date of export you are in a position to apply to DEFRA/AHVLA for the Export Health Certificate. This will be sent by post directly to your vet approximately 7 days prior to the flight. We can help you with the application form if required.
The application forms can be obtained from Carlisle DEFRA (AHVLA) Animal Health Office 01228 603400 option 1 option 4. Please also request from DEFRA a Specimen copy of the Health Certificate as the things that have to be done may become somewhat clearer than just referring to the notes.
Dogs only (for Cats see below)
Dogs only (for Cats see below)
Step 5 - Within 45 days of flight
Do first internal parasite treatment which must be maintained until export. First treatment must be done at least 14 days before second treatment. Second treatment has to be done within 5 days of export.
External parasite treatment for dogs – this has to be at least 21 days prior to the Ehrlichia blood test and maintained with no break in protection until export. We would advise that you check very carefully the retreatment period for the product that your vet has chosen for the initial treatment. Some products are licenced for 28 days (eg Advantix) and others for 1 month (ie 30 days eg Frontline).
At the same time ensure that all relevant vaccinations - see below - are current. If last vaccinations were done 11 months or more prior to flight date, do any necessary revaccinations at least 14 days prior to flight.
Our vets (RHVH at Egham – Official Airport Vets) have clarified the situation re Leptospirosis Canicola vaccination with DAFF in Australia.
If it is greater than 1 year from the previous Leptospirosis Canicola vaccination at the time of export then a primary vaccination course is required.
A primary course is two injections given, as per the data sheet for the product, but usually at least 2 weeks apart.
Travel is at least 14 days following the second injection.
Our understanding is that previous lapses in vaccination history (where a primary course should have been started but was not) will require a primary course to comply.
Leptospirosis immunity drops off quickly after 1 year as detailed by the World Small Animal Veterinary Association.
Rabies vaccination is valid for length of time recommended by the manufacturer.
Step 6 - Within 21 days of flight
Check for external parasites. If any Ticks are found they must be removed and treatment must be started again. This will mean that your pets flight will have to be delayed. You would also need to rebook the quarantine.
Do second external parasite treatment (Fipronil /Frontline or Advantix for dogs) to keep unbroken protection.
Dogs only – do all required blood tests – see below.
Breeding dogs may not be mated or inseminated from 14 days before this point until export and may not be more than 30 days pregnant at time of export.
If dog has ever visited Africa then treatment for Babesia Canis must be given within 28 days of the flight.
If required, retest or treat dog and retest if it failed on any of the blood tests or restart whole process if ticks have been found.
Step 8 – Between 5 and 0 days prior to flight
Vet to do health check, final internal parasite treatment (Praziquantel – Drontal or Milbemax) and sign the DEFRA Export Health certificate.
Steps 1 to 4 - As for dogs.
Vaccinations are for feline enteritis, feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus showing vaccination at least 14 days before the flight and not more than 11 months beforehand.
No blood test requirements other than for rabies.
Internal parasite treatment - First treatment must be done within 45 days of export and at least 14 days before second treatment. Second treatment has to be done within 5 days of export.
External parasite treatment for cats has to be done at least 21 days prior to the flight and maintained unbroken until export.
Dogs and cats must be accompanied by the following paperwork (all pages of all documents must show the correct microchip number and be signed and stamped by the OV completing the DEFRA Export Health Certificate on each and every page):
A) AQIS Import Permit (Health certificate attached to this should be completed if the full DEFRA form mentioned below is still not available at time of export).
B) An Official Export Health Certificate (this must be applied for from DEFRA/AHVLA - see bottom of sheet for telephone number). This must be completed and certified by an OV within 5 days of the flight.
C) RNATT Lab test Report for Rabies showing positive test result – blood sample date between 6 months and 2 years prior to flight.
D) RNAT Test Declaration
Dogs must also be accompanied by the following DEFRA /AHVLA Blood test laboratory reports:
Blood samples to be tested for:
1) Ehrlichia (IFAT test) Blood test within 21 days of the flight and also at least 21 days after first external parasite treatment.
2) Leishmania (IFAT test), Blood test within 45 days of the flight.
3) Brucella Canis (RSA test) Blood test within 45 days of the flight - only if dog is not neutered. Dogs must not be mated or artificially inseminated in the period from 14 days before the blood test until export. Dogs must also not be more than 30 days pregnant at time of export.
If the dog has been neutered then no blood test for Brucella Canis is required. However proof of neutering may be required.
4) Leptospira interrogans serovar canicola (MAT test - but only if dog is not vaccinated), Blood test within 45 days of the flight.
If the dog has been fully and continuously vaccinated against Leptospirosis (please see separate letter from RHVH) then no blood test is required.
All blood tests must be submitted to the relevant authority (AHVLA, Weybridge, Surrey)
Ideally all should be done together within 21 days of the flight. Negative results at the relevant titres must be obtained for all tests.
Blood tests and costs on following web page:AHVLA Blood Tests and costs
Up to date blank blood test submission form for vet AHVLA Blood Test Submission Form
If any positive results are obtained treatment will be required before re-testing.
The blood test results MUST accompany the Export Health Certificate. They must show the dog’s microchip number and be endorsed by your vet.
The following documents must accompany the animal on arrival in Australia. All pages of all documents must bear the original signature of the Official Government Veterinarian and stamp of the Competent Authority on each and every page:
A valid import permit (Attachment A does not need to be completed)
A completed DEFRA/AHVLA Veterinary Export Health Certificate (This replaces Attachment A of the import permit)
Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre (RNAT) test laboratory report; and
Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre (RNAT) Test Declaration.
For dogs only:
Ehrlichia canis laboratory report
Leishmania infantum laboratory report
Brucella canis laboratory report (only required if not desexed)
Leptospira canicola laboratory report (only if dog is not fully vaccinated)
[It is recommended that you retain a copy of each of these documents.]
Any corrections made to the Veterinary Health Certificate must be struck through, remain legible and be signed and stamped by the Official Government Veterinarian (NB: Correction fluid must not be used).
Vaccination Records are not required to travel with your pet, however:
Ideally, vaccination records must show the microchip number and be endorsed by your vet.
Vaccination card/certificate for Rabies showing vaccination(s) valid at time of export – immunisation validity can be from 1 to 3 years.
Vaccination record for distemper, infectious hepatitis, canine parvovirus, parainfluenza (D,H,P,Pi) and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough KC).
Ideally vaccinations must have been given at least 14 days before the flight and still be valid on entry to Australia.
A full primary vaccination course for Leptospirosis is advisable so that the blood test for this is not required.
Please note that vaccinations for these diseases come in many different combinations and each component may be valid for different periods depending on the manufacturer. Some vaccinations are not always given routinely every year (as some may be valid up to 3 years), so it is advisable to check with your vet to ensure that each individual disease has been vaccinated against and will still be valid on entry to Australia.
Vaccination card/certificate for Rabies showing vaccination(s) valid at time of export - immunisation validity can be from 1 to 3 years.
Vaccination record for feline enteritis, feline rhinotracheitis and feline calicivirus showing valid vaccination at least 14 days before the flight and still current on entry to Australia.
Also advisable is a written declaration for the vet, to support the export health certificate. Include description of the dog or cat (breed), age, whether male or female, neutered or not, pregnancy status etc. Template available.
Last updated 26/01/2015
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