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?

The department has seen an increase in the number of elderly cats and dogsbeing imported with chronic illnesses and medical conditions.

The Post Entry Quarantine facility is receiving a high number of clientenquiries regarding the importation of animals that are elderly or havechronic illnesses and require a high level of veterinary care and treatment,such as kidney disease requiring intravenous or subcutaneous fluid injectionsor cancer requiring chemotherapy treatment.

It is the department’s experience that even animals with well managed chronicmedical conditions can often arrive in Australia in a state of distress andpoor health. International travel can cause them to de-stabilise and rapidlydeteriorate.

Know your import requirements prior to exporting your pet

It is an import condition that the dog or cat must be healthy and fit toundertake the journey to Australia and undergo quarantine.

You should consider your animal’s age and condition, and how they will copewith long distance travel and climatic stress, when deciding to send youranimal to Australia.

It is also a condition of import that cats and dogs undergo a final pre-exportveterinary examination by a government-approved or official governmentveterinarian within 5 days of the date of export to Australia. At the time offinal pre-export veterinary examination, cats and dogs must be:

  • certified as healthy and fit to travel to Australia and undergo quarantine
  • free of clinical signs of infectious and contagious disease

It is the responsibility of the endorsing government approved vet to determineif an animal is fit and well to travel. It is important to talk to yourveterinarian about whether your animal is a suitable candidate forinternational travel and is fit and stable with a relatively simple medicalregime that can be easily administered by biosecurity staff at the Post EntryQuarantine facility if required.

You should reconsider importing your cat or dog if they are not healthy andfit to safely travel and undergo quarantine. You may need to delay youranimal’s import to Australia until their health has improved.

What should you consider before importing an animal requiring special care

to Australia?

Whilst your animal will be well cared for during their time at the Post EntryQuarantine facility, you should think about the stress that your animal mayexperience with international travel and quarantine stay. Stress mayexacerbate pre-existing conditions or worsen the health status of animals withspecial medical needs.

The PEQ website now has comprehensive information about importing animals withspecial care requirements. You must notify us if your animal has any medicalrequirements when making your quarantine booking so we can ensure appropriatecare of your animal. In such circumstances, we will require additionalinformation from your treating veterinarian to correctly manage the conditionby completing a special care animal declaration outlining the animal’scondition/s and care requirements which can be submitted [email protected]

What level of care to expect during post-entry quarantine in Australia

The facility is staffed within the daylight hours of 0800 and 1600. Care isprovided during these hours; cats and dogs are not monitored outside of thesehours.

Our government veterinarians at the PEQ examine incoming animals for evidenceof biosecurity concerns. They do not provide general veterinary care,consultation, prescribe or dispense medication for treatment of conditions notrelated to biosecurity.

As a pet owner, you must consider whether it is in your pet’s best intereststo be subject to long distance travel and the 10 days stay in quarantine. Ifyou elect to import your pet with an underlying medical condition, thedepartment strongly recommends that you arrange for a private veterinarian toexamine your pet after their arrival at the quarantine facility. The privateveterinarian can determine whether changes to your pet’s care or medicationare necessary following any stress associated with importation.

Cats and dogs that are unwell on arrival, or become unwell during quarantine,may require private veterinary attendance at the expense of the person incharge of the animal. Supervision fees will apply and the person in charge isresponsible for paying all associated fees.

Deceased animals in transit, on arrival or during quarantine

When a pet dies in transit to Australia, on arrival or during the quarantineperiod the department may require a postmortem examination to be conducted todetermine if the cause of death is from a disease of biosecurity concern.

In recent months the department has seen an increase in animal deaths onarrival or during the quarantine period due to the stress of travel, theirage, and chronic medical conditions. The postmortem reports indicate thatthose animal’s deaths were due to chronic illness or pre-existing medicalconditions and unrelated to biosecurity disease.

Pets remain subject to biosecurity control until such time as they havecompleted the post-entry quarantine period and are in full compliance with theimport conditions. In the instance where a pet dies in transit to Australia,on arrival or during the quarantine period, departmental policy requires thatdeceased animals cannot be released from biosecurity control or returned tothe owner as the import conditions have not been fulfilled. The department isunable to provide cremation services and the return of the ashes to the owner.The animal’s remains must be disposed of by deep burial at an approvedbiosecurity facility.

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.

If you require further information, please call 1800 900 090 or [email protected]

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