Ghid pentru a aduce animale in Australia

For many people, pets are not simply animals, they are part of the
family. Therefore it’s only natural to assume that when we emigrate,
they come along too. But unfortunately it’s never that easy and getting a
working Australian visa for yourself is often a piece of cake compared
to getting a permit for your beloved pet!

Therefore, after days of scratching our heads in puzzlement and
muttering profanities under our breath, we at Embrace have delved into
the complex business of pet permits to bring you our definitive (we
hope!) guide to the tangle of red tape.

Please note that this is a guide for cats and dogs only, as most
other pets will not be allowed to be exported to Australia from any
other country apart from New Zealand. So Hammy the Hamster may just have
to stay with a friend or relative.

STEP ONE – Meeting the Criteria
In order to take your pet with you to Australia you need an Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service
(AQIS) Permit. Before you even apply for the permit it’s worth getting a
few things in order first. One of the things you can do straight away
is to ensure that your pet meets the following conditions:

They must have been living in the UK for more than 6 months.
They must be at least 12 weeks old.
Females must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant or be suckling young.
For cats, the breed must not be or be cross-bred with a serval cat, which is an African wild cat.
For dogs, the following breeds are NOT allowed into Australia:
Dogo Argentino
Fila Brazileiro
Japanese Tosa
Pit Bull Terrier or American Pit Bull
Perro de Presa Canario or Presa Canario
Your pet must not be derived from a non-domestic hybrid, or if it is, it must be at least 5 generations removed.
Your pet must be microchipped and readable by an ISO compatible
reader. It’s worth asking your vet to check this before you apply,
because if they can’t read the microchip then your pet will not be
allowed into the country.
TEP TWO How many pets can I take?
Don't think that looking cute will cut any ice with officials!

Most Australian councils have a limit on the number of cats and dogs
that can be kept at home. Usually this is two of each, but there can be
exceptions and you’ll need to apply for a Multiple Pet Permit. You
should try to contact the council where you intend to live to ask them
about their guidelines before you apply for your import permit, or you
could be paying out a lot of money for an additional pet that may be
refused entry by the local council. Debra Copeland found this out to her
cost when she applied to take her 5 Pedigree cats over with her to the
Rockingham area of Perth.

Apparently in most councils you can only keep two cats by law unless
you apply for an exemption certificate … you can’t apply for this
exemption until you are over there and have an address … the council
will write to your neighbours asking them if they mind you owning more
than two cats and if they have a valid reason for not wanting you to
have more than two cats you are basically refused. The cats are then
taken off you and re-homed or put to sleep.”

Debra’s position is made even more difficult because if you have over 4 cats you need to apply for a cattery licence!

This may seem overly strict, but the rules are better understood if
you bear in mind the problems Australia has with cats, which include the
killing of native and fragile wildlife and the huge increase in the
stray cat population. You may be a responsible cat owner, but
unfortunately many others aren’t.

STEP THREE Contact your vet
Your AQIS application will come with veterinary certificates A and B.
A government approved officer in the country you are migrating from
(e.g. the UK) will complete certificate B for you and endorse
certificate A. Certificate A will be completed by a government approved
vet who will prepare your pet ready for export around 4 days before your
pet is due to travel, more information on this is in Step 6. Samples
will be taken from your pet and sent to an approved laboratory for
testing.

To apply for the certificates from the UK and for guidance notes,
contact the Central Operations for Exports, Animal Health Division in
Carlisle on 01228 403600 (option 2). They will provide an application
form for your export health certificate, which is vital to begin the
process. You will be asked to provide vet details on the form and Defra
will then check to ensure that your vet is one listed as an official
government vet. The forms will then be forwarded to the vet. Defra will
provide your vet with a list of vaccinations that are required for your
pet as well as a list of blood tests. As of yet, Defra do not charge for
this service, but your vet will charge both for the certificate and
every sample and/or vaccination that is required.

For people migrating from the USA, the Dept of Agriculture is
responsible for issuing you with the certificates and guidance notes you
will need. Visit their website (link is external) for more information.

STEP FOUR – Applying for an AQIS Permit

You can apply for your AQIS permit here (link is external) and send it back to:

AQIS – Live Animal Imports

GPO Box 858

Canberra 2601

Australia Fax: +61 2 6272 3110

Email: animalimp@aqis.gov.au (link sends e-mail)

Phone: +61 2 6272 4454

You can post, email or fax your application with any supporting
documents and once received, it should take up to 10 working days for
them to get back to you with your permit. However they do have an online
application system that is far cheaper to use and very secure, you’ll
need to scan any relevant paperwork in, but if you’re comfortable with
using the PC then this could be the option for you.

Once you have successfully applied for an AQIS permit, they are valid
for 6 months from the issue date. So don’t apply too far in advance,
it’s worth making this one of the last things you do, so long as you are
confident that you meet the full criteria

Payment
AQIS Import Permit assessment and application fees.
(All fees are in Australian dollars)

If you have applied for a permit manually (i.e. by post/email/fax)
the fee is $150. If you have applied using the AQIS online system the
fee is $85.

After that there is an assessment fee. For the first cat or dog the
fee comes under Category 4 which is $240, for any subsequent animal the
fee reduces to Category 1: $40.

Live animal import permit fees
Manual applications: $150, online: $85.

Assessment for first cat/dog: $240, subsequent cat/dog: $80.

AQIS accepts cheque and credit card payments (Visa, MasterCard and American Express only).

STEP FIVE – Quarantine
Don't worry Fido, it's not forever!

Once your AQIS permit has been approved you will need to book your pets a
place at an AQIS post arrival animal quarantine service. There are 3 of
these stations to accommodate both cats and dogs and these are
stationed in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth. The quarantine period is a 30
day minimum period for the UK, for the USA quarantine times can vary and
once all the blood tests are complete you will be informed as to how
long your pet needs to be booked into the quarantine centre.

Remember though, that just because you have your permit, this does NOT guarantee you a place at any of the quarantine centres.Â

Lee Purcell from Eastern Creek Quarantine Station says: “Demand for
accommodation at the Quarantine Station is high, with the Quarantine
Station often running at or near 100% occupancy. As such, notifications
& bookings are required to ensure we can accommodate your animal.
Currently, the Quarantine Station does not operate a dedicated booking
system. Importers are required to notify the Quarantine Station of the
intended importation on issuance of the Import Permit. Quarantine
Station staff will be able to advise of accommodation availability at
that time, & a tentative reservation made. Bookings will only be
confirmed when actual shipment details are advised by the airline. “

When you contact the centre they will need:

A valid AQIS Import Permit number
Animal details including breed, weight, age, gender etc.
Flight number and date of arrival in Australia (you can confirm this nearer the time)
Air waybill number (again, confirm nearer the time)
Contact telephone number
Details of any special needs your animal may have
The quarantine stations can get extremely busy. Danika Cotterell from the Byford Quarantine Station says:

“Currently we take bookings approximately 2-3 months in advance, and
we seem to be busy all year round, although Christmas can often be
busier.”

Two animals may share the same kennel at the discretion of the
quarantine centre, provided they are from the same household, this often
works out cheaper for the second dog/cat.

The quarantine centres will need to be paid separately, an invoice
will be sent directly to you, so make sure they have your up-to-date
contact information. Fees need to be paid on a weekday before you
collect your pet. Payments cannot be processed at the weekend.

As a general guide, expect to pay around $800 AUD for a 30 day quarantine period.

Visiting
Visiting hours differ hugely from each quarantine centre, so do contact them to find out when visiting times/dates are.

Sydney

Sydney Quarantine Centre

60 Wallgrove Road, Eastern Creek, NSW 2766

Phone: +61 2 9625 4566

Email: EasternCreek.AQS@aqis.gov.au (link sends e-mail)

Melbourne

Spotswood Quarantine Centre

Postal Address: PO Box 1079, Newport, VIC 3105

Physical Address: 43-47 Craig Street, Spotswood, VIC 3105

Phone: +61 3 9391 1627

Email: Spotswood.Quarantine@aqis.gov.au (link sends e-mail)

Perth

Byford Animal Quarantine Centre

Postal Address: PO Box 61, Byford, WA 6122

Physical Address: 106 Nettleton Road, Byford, WA 6122

Phone: +61 8 9525 1763

Email: byfordq@aqis.gov.au (link sends e-mail)

STEP SIX Veterinary Certificates
Around 4 days before your pets’ departure date, take it to your vet
to be checked for fitness to travel. Take all your other certificates
and paperwork with you as these too will be checked over. Once your pet
has been declared free from parasites and illness and the paperwork is
all correct, veterinary certificate A will be signed off.

STEP SEVEN – Travel Arrangements
Your pet can only travel to Perth, Melbourne or Sydney (link is external).
Flights must be booked from Mon-Fri between 8am and 4.30pm. Do not book
them onto flights at the weekends or any Australian public bank
holidays (worth checking when these are). Your pet will be allowed to
travel unaccompanied.

Happy flying Fido!

Once the flights are booked, call the quarantine centre to confirm the
booking for your pet and provide them with the flight number, date and
time and the airway bill number.

There are no restrictions on which airline you choose, but the animal
must have a suitable container in which to travel. The International
Air Travel Association provides approved containers which you can get
from their website IATA (link is external).

Your pet will be checked over by a vet on the day of departure who
will add the last remaining signature onto your Import Permit. The crate
will also be checked to ensure it’s suitable. All other paperwork must
be present, including your vaccination certificates, AQIS permit,
veterinary certificates and any other relevant travel documents. It’s
important that you take a copy of this paperwork for your own records,
ensuring that the originals stay with your pet.

Your pet will be met at the airport by a quarantine officer and taken
directly to the centre. The centres will only take animals during the
week from 6am – 12am, not at the weekend or any public bank holidays. If
you need to check up on your pet, please leave sufficient time for the
animal to get settled at the centre. So if your pet is taken off in the
morning, wait until the afternoon before phoning. If it’s the afternoon,
wait until the next morning.