You can bring your pet to Australia provided you meet the import conditions. Approved dogs, cats and horses from many countries including the United Kingdom and the United States are permitted into Australia. Birds and rabbits are permitted from New Zealand only. No other species are allowed. To see if your country is eligible visit the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service website. This website is very easy to use and has a pick-list of countries which then lists the exact criteria and quarantine periods.
Different countries have different criteria to meet. These generally will always include:
- an approved veterinarian or government organisation must examine and confirm the pet is over six months old,
- not more than 3 weeks pregnant or suckling young,
- must be microchipped with approved chip, and
- vaccinated for Rabies.
Once you receive the Rabies Vaccination and Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) Declaration you can apply for a permit to import. You will be required to pay an application fee which starts at $275 which you can do online on the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service website.
Some countries might have additional requirements. There are costs to importing your pet which depend on your pet’s length of stay in quarantine, if any vet checks are required, and so on. Expect to pay a couple of thousand dollars.
The length of stay in quarantine depends on a number of factors. For example, from South Africa the quarantine period is 210 days. Thirty of these are in South Africa, 30 are in Australia and you can choose whether you want the in between days in either South Africa or Australia. If your pet comes from the United States, however, upon arrival in Australia, your pet will spend just up to 30 days in quarantine. Other factors relate to how long, prior to importing the animal, the rabies shot was provided. Boarding and vet checks in quarantine are charged, which is payable on your animal’s release.
You will be allowed to visit your pet and exercise it in one of the quarantine yards. The Sydney quarantine station is in Eastern Creek which is in Sydney’s west. You will need to book a place for your animal at Quarantine soon after your animal is approved for import because places are limited.
Australian Quarantine Inspection Service http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs