Who does this notice affect?

This notice is for all airlines, freight forwarders, pet transport companiesand importers of cats and dogs to Australia.

What has changed?

COVID-19 impact on Cat and Dog imports to Australia

The department is currently handling an unprecedented number of enquiries dueto the impact of COVID-19. We appreciate your understanding and patience as werespond to these enquiries.

The department is aware of the significant and world-wide disruption to airtravel including flight cancellations and airline-imposed restrictions. Thismeans pet importers and owners are experiencing difficulties organising thetransport of their animals to Australia. In order to ensure animal welfare andmanage the significant biosecurity risks posed by international transport ofanimals, all animals destined for the quarantine facility at Mickleham mustarrive directly into Melbourne Airport. Animals cannot be transhipped toMelbourne on a domestic flight from another Australian port.

The current COVID-19 pandemic does not change the existing risks posed bydiseases of biosecurity concern to Australia or the need for cats and dogs tomeet the import permit conditions in full. Pre-border waiting periods arecrucial to effectively manage the biosecurity risks and cannot be reduced byspending more time in quarantine in Australia.

Any cats or dogs that arrive into Australia during this time unannounced orwithout a valid import permit and veterinary health certification will beconsidered non-compliant and subject to immediate re-export from Australia. Ifthe person in charge of the animal cannot arrange re-export, the departmentmay have no other option but to euthanase the animal.

Cat and Dog Import Permits

The department is continuing to process import permit applications and thereare no changes to import conditions for cats and dogs in relation to COVID-19at this time.

Post Entry Quarantine facility – Mickleham

The post-entry quarantine (PEQ) facility remains operational at this time,however, is currently experiencing high demand in booking enquiries regardingchanges to PEQ reservations. Pet importers and owners are advised to checkavailability of both the flight arrival date and PEQ capacity to receive theiranimal on that date. Please email [email protected] if you wish to amenda PEQ reservation due to flight disruptions.

The PEQ staff remain dedicated to providing the best care possible for allanimals during their stay at the Mickleham facility. Pet importers and ownersare responsible for arranging the collection of their animals from the PEQ onthe release date to avoid any overstay as additional fees will be incurred.

If you cannot attend the facility in person you can authorise a friend, afamily member or pet transport company to collect your animal on your behalfto house or kennel your animal or transport them to you. Please check relevantstate or territory government websites for interstate travel movementrestrictions.

Further information

Importers are encouraged to check our website regularly or subscribe to ourmailing list for up to date information as import conditions can changewithout notice.

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