Importing your Pet into Australia

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Helping you to Settle in Perth

We discussed importing our pet into Australia when we began our migration process. We just didn’t like the thought of leaving our pet cat Squeak behind when we left for our new life in Perth

In the end we made the decision to leave Squeak behind with friends, who we knew would give him the same love, care and affection as we did.

As a pet owner and lover your bound to find the thought of leaving your pet behind when you migrate to Australia difficult.

Do consider what is best for your Pet. Taking your best fury friend with you to Australia will be stressful for them and a costly exercise for you.

STOP & THINK Do you have a family member or friend who is not migrating to Australia with you who would love to adopt and take care of your Pet?

Your Pet will soon settle down, they will still have lots of love and affection and be cared for and fed.

OK so you have considered all the alternatives, it’s no good your Pet is coming with you.


1) Confirm Your Pet is Eligible to be Taken into Australia

  • Generally dogs, cats and horses are allowed into Australia from a number of countries. However, many other household pets are prohibited.You can search the AQIS database to see if your Pet will be allowed into Australia.

2)Be Sure Your Pet Can Cope With the Trip to Australia

Before you spend any money towards taking your pet with you to Australia talk to your Vet.

The trip to Australia will be a long and stressful one for your Pet. Then once they have arrived in Australia they will be subject to 30 days quarantine.

It is important to be sure that your Pet’s health is such that it will cope with the journey.

NB: AQIS discourages, the importation of chronically ill animals into Australia.

You should take into account the age and condition of your Pet as well as travel and climatic stress when you decide to export your dogs/cats to Australia.

You may find that a better alternative for your Pet would be to leave them behind with a relative or friend. Ask around as you may find the perfect people to adopt your Pet, giving them a comfy home and love they are used to.

3) Your Cat/Dog Needs Micro Chipping

Before you can apply for an import permit your dog or cat has to be micro chipped. The micro chip needs to be read by an ISO compatible reader.

4) Required Vaccinations

Vaccinations must be valid for the entire period spent in quarantine in Australia. If vaccinations expire prior to your pet’s release from quarantine they may be re-vaccinated at the owner’s expense.

Dogs must be vaccinated against

  • distemper,
  • infectious hepatitis,
  • canine parvovirus (parvo),
  • para-influenza
  • Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough).

Dogs may be vaccinated for kennel cough on arrival in Australia at the owner’s expense.

Note: Vaccinations against Leptospira interrogans.var. canicola is not recommended within 6 months of export as your pet’s high antibody response will most likely result in it being ineligible for export to Australia.

Cats must have been vaccinated against

feline enteritis (feline panleucopenia, feline distemper),

  • rhinotracheitis
  • calicivirus.

5) Organise your Import Permit

An application for an import permit should be submitted along with your Pets microchip number to the quarantine station of your choice


There are only 3 quarantine stations in Australia, these can be found in;-

  • Perth, which covers Perth and the rest of Western Australia (Byford),
  • Sydney and New South Wales (Eastern Creek),
  • Melbourne and Victoria (Spotswood)

6) Organise Quarantine

NB:As at January 2007 all Australian animal quarantine stations are at full capacity and all stations are fully booked for several months.

If you require that your pet in accommodated at an Australian animal quarantine station you should apply for an import permit at least 5 monthsin advance of anticipated departure.

Before you can make a reservation for your Pet at an Australian animal quarantine station, you will need to obtain a permit number. Once you have a permit number you can contact the relevant animal quarantine station to make a reservation.

If your Cat of Dog is being transported from the UK then it is generally quarantined for 30 days after arrival.

Certain breeds of dogs cannot be exported into Australia.

NB: the approval of the relevant quarantine station needs to be obtained for after hours pick-ups prior to import.

7) Organise Transport for your Pet

You can only get your pet into Australia through the following airports:-

  • Mascot Airport in Sydney (New South Wales),
  • Tullamarine Airport in Melbourne (Victoria)
  • Perth Airport in Perth (Western Australia)

You will probably find it easier to use a company to organise the whole process of taking your Pet to Australia for you. They can handle everything including the health checks and vaccinations or, if you prefer just part of the process.

You are not restricted to the airline you choose, however, your pet must travel as “Manifested Cargo” (not in the cabin) and in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved container for dogs and cats