337 - Pets
Published January 21, 2008
Importation and quarantine laws are very strict and importation of pets can be extremely expensive. The restrictions are based on the country from which your travel originates and when/how your pet was tested. Pets brought into Australia will be quarantined at your expense; however, you may be eligible for partial or full reimbursement.
In general, pets must stay a minimum of 30 days in physical quarantine in Australia, so you can greatly reduce your overall costs and the amount of time your pet must remain in quarantine by starting the process as soon as possible. Make sure your pet has the proper shots, blood work and microchip identification. Most major airlines impose a summer embargo on the carriage of pets as checked baggage. All pets must arrive in Australia as air cargo -- not checked or carry-on baggage, therefore you will need to hire a licensed pet handling company.
Your pets will be subject to quarantine restrictions on arrival. These restrictions are based on the country from which your travel originates and when/how your pet was tested. Start early to make sure your pet has the proper shots and make appropriate arrangements for their travel. Microchip identification is required and can be accomplished relatively inexpensively at some base veterinary clinics prior to departure. See the AQIS
website for importing dogs and cats.
Many apartments and homes may not allow pets or may only allow small pets (usually cats or birds); so keep this in mind when deciding whether or not to bring your pets. Also, if you are traveling through Hawaii with your pets, Hawaii also has quarantine restrictions (normally 6-months for dogs). If you are shipping your pets "unaccompanied," they normally are shipped as cargo, which can be quite expensive. Check with the airlines and pet shipping companies for more information on health requirements and costs.
A helpful contact for quarantine restrictions (New South Wales):
Eastern Creek Animal Quarantine Station
Eastern Creek, NSW 2766
Telephone: 011 - 61 (2) 9832-4025
Fax: 011 - 61 (2) 9832-1532