Bringing your pet back to Australia from other countries
Australian pet import regulations are known to be amongst the most stringent in the world. Australia’s strict biosecurity laws exist to protect the vast species of local flora and fauna from exotic diseases. A pet that leaves Australia loses their Australian health status and will have to fulfil all the requirements set by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources to re-enter Australia.
If you have travelled out of Australia with your pet, you can bring him or her back only from certain countries that are approved by the department. Here’s what you can do to bring your pet back from the following countries:
Can I bring my pet dog or cat back from Singapore to Australia?
Singapore is on the approved list of countries as a Category II country, and you can bring your pet back to Australia very easily from Singapore. Ensure your pet has been vaccinated for rabies and has an ISO-compliant microchip implanted. If you are returning to Australia within six months of departure, it is recommended that you apply for an import permit before leaving Australia. However, if your import permit is not valid, you can apply for a permit before travelling back.
Cats and dogs entering Australia will need to undergo treatment for internal and external parasites. Your pet must be accompanied by a health certificate attested by a registered veterinarian. Pets entering Australia from Singapore, which is a Category II country need to spend a minimum of 10 days in quarantine before you can take them home.
All pets travelling to Australia from Singapore have to enter the country at Melbourne where they will be examined by an official and sent to Mickleham Quarantine Centre to wait out their ten-day quarantine period.
Can I bring my pet dog or cat back to Australia from United Kingdom, United States and Hong Kong?
The United Kingdom, the United States and Hong Kong fall under Category III of approved countries, which means the process is slightly longer to bring back your pet cat or dog from these countries. Your pet will have to fulfil all the veterinary requirements, including updated vaccinations (including rabies vaccine), external and internal parasite treatment, and implantation of an ISO-compliant microchip. Additionally, your pet will need to take a rabies titre test (RNAT) between 180 to 24 months before the date of departure.
You will need an import permit to be able to bring your pet back to Australia, as well as a health certificate attested by a registered vet. If you are returning to Australia in under six months, it is best to apply for an import permit before leaving the country.
Pet dogs and cats travelling to Australia from a Category III country will have to enter the country at Melbourne and spend a minimum of ten days at the Mickleham Quarantine Centre before you can take them home.
Can I bring my pet back to Australia from an unapproved country?
Unapproved countries are countries that are do not appear in Category I, II or III on the list of approved countries as specified by the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources. If your pet is travelling to a country that is not on the list of approved countries, the procedure to bring them back is slightly more complicated. Your pet will have to complete a mandatory 180 day waiting period in a category II or III country before being able to enter Australia.
It is recommended to administer the rabies vaccine and the rabies titre test (RNAT) before leaving Australia if you are travelling to an unapproved country to make the process of re-entry faster and easier. Rabies vaccinations are valid for between two to three years, and the RNAT test result is valid for 24 months from the time of the test. It is vital to ensure that you maintain the rabies vaccinations and the RNAT tests for the entire time your pet dog or cat is in the foreign country. Failing to do so will mean your pet has to move to an approved country for 180 days before entering Australia.
Get expert advice
Moving back to Australia with your pet involves a fair amount of documentation because of the strict biosecurity and import regulations. If you are planning to travel back to Australia with your pet pooch or feline, get in touch with us at Petraveller for more advice on the move.