How to Migrate with your Pet to Oz
Maria Venter – South Africans to Oz
To migrate with your pet to Oz is for many South Africans one of the most difficult decisions to make.
Do we take Fido and Fluffy with us or find suitable new homes for them in South Africa?
If you have the time and can afford the costs, the good news is that importing pets to Australia is most likely possible, but the process will require careful planning.
There are very strict importation standards in Oz and you will need to complete the several steps required by the Government of Australia.
Please check their official website for the most up to date information: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs .
On this website there are step by step guides for bringing in cats or dogs from a ‘Group 3’ country, namely South Africa.
To migrate with your pet to Oz each step MUST be followed carefully and in the correct order.
The entire process can take up to 6 months prior to the arrival of your pet, plus another required 10 days of quarantine upon arrival at the Mickleham Quarantine Facility in Melbourne.
Things to keep in mind if you want to migrate with your pet to Oz
The following DOG breeds are not eligible for importation into Australia:
Dogo Argentino – Pitbull Terrier
Fila Brasileiro – Perro de Presa Canario
Japanese Tos – Presa Canario
American Pitbull Terrier
Domestic/Non-Domestic Animal Hybrid (e.g. Wolf Dog Cross).
Any breeds crossed with the above-mentioned breeds.
The following CAT breeds are not eligible for importation into Australia:
The cat/s must not be a hybrid between domestic and non-domestic species, and must not be derived from a cross with a wild cat species and includes but is not limited to the following breeds:
Savannah cat, domestic cat (Felis catus) crossed with serval cat (Felis serval)
Safari cat, domestic cat crossed with Geoffroy cat (Oncifelis geoffroyi)
Chausie, domestic cat crossed with Jungle cat (Felis chaus)
NB!! The only exception to this is the Bengal cat, a domestic cat crossed with Asian leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis).
It may be imported if it is five generations removed from the Asian leopard cat.
Points to consider when you migrate with your Pet to Oz
All pets entering Australia must have a microchip implanted prior to travel. The microchip must be implanted before the rabies titer test is administered.
- Rabies and Other Tests
All pets relocating to Australia must undergo a Rabies Antibody Titer Test at least three to four weeks after receiving an inactivated rabies vaccination.
This blood test, which ensures the vaccine has provided your pet with adequate levels of the rabies antibody, must be reviewed at an approved lab.
Dogs and cats must undergo additional treatments and blood tests before departure.
- Veterinary Credentials
Important: The veterinarian who performs the blood-work and submits your pet’s titer test form must be government approved. Check your vet’s accreditation before completing this part of the process.
Once your pet has completed the required waiting period in preparation for their move, they will have a required 10-night stay at the Mickleham Quarantine Facility in Melbourne.
This is the only quarantine facility in Australia and visitation during your pet’s stay is not allowed.
A pet relocation consultant (if you choose to use one from the list of pet relocation services listed below) can assist in arranging special dietary and/or medical needs while in quarantine if needed.
- Additionally, an Import Permit and special export documentation are required. The pet Relocation agency you choose will take care of this on your behalf if you so choose.
You can only migrate with your pet to Oz if your pet is either a dog or cat
Note: Only dogs and cats may be imported to Australia at this time (birds, rabbits, etc. are unfortunately not allowed).
Official fees for this can be found at: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/cats-dogs/fees-for-cat-and-dog-import-permit-applications. Currently it costs $480 for the initial cat or dog imported, then $240 for each additional animal thereafter in the same consignment.
Other costs to factor when you migrate with your pet to Oz
- Veterinary fees prior to departure
- Air transport fees
- 10 nights at the Mickleham quarantine facility which currently states:
‘Cats and dogs and other animals that weigh less than 25 kg are charged an import levy of $1 200 per animal and daily husbandry fees of $29 per animal per day.’
Please check for the most up to date quarantine fees: http://www.agriculture.gov.au/fees/charging-guidelines
So as you can see to migrate with your pet to Oz is quite an involved process.
If the timing and planning of all this seems like a daunting task, why not sign up with a trusted pet relocation service who can take care of most of it for you?….at an extra fee of course.
Below is a list to choose from.
A final thought
And one final thought before you start this lengthy and expensive process, please bear in mind it will also feel like a long, scary, lonely process to the pet/s you decide to bring over.
Think it though thoroughly and make sure it will be worth it from both your side and theirs.
Read more about critters Aussie kids grow up with. Your pet will have get to know them too.
Get to know the local Australian Cattle Dogs.