Understanding pet quarantine regulations in Malaysia
There are several rules and regulations when it comes to international pet transport, and your pet has to fulfil all import criteria before they can enter the country. One of the biggest concerns about international pet travel is pet quarantine. Many countries have mandatory quarantine that could range from five days to 30 days, depending on the country of origin.
Pet quarantine protects local fauna from the introduction of exotic diseases. It allows the officials in the destination country to observe your pet for any contagious diseases that could spread among local animals if left unchecked. Not all countries have mandatory quarantine; most countries that are rabies-free such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore insist on quarantine to prevent the spread of rabies and other introduced diseases.
If you are travelling to Malaysia with your pet dog or cat, here’s what you should know about pet quarantine in Malaysia.
How long will my pet be in quarantine in Malaysia?
The length of the quarantine in Malaysia depends on the country your pet is flying from. Malaysia has two categories of countries:
- Scheduled countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, Brunei and Singapore are considered scheduled countries by Malaysia. No quarantine is required for pets travelling to Malaysia from scheduled countries as long as all other import formalities are satisfied. If your pet has lived in a scheduled country for six months before the date of import, they will not spend time in quarantine.
- Non-scheduled countries: All countries except the United Kingdom, Ireland, Northern Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Sweden, Brunei, Singapore and Australia are non-scheduled countries. If your pet is travelling to Malaysia from a non-scheduled country, they will have to be in quarantine for a minimum of seven days. They may be vaccinated with an approved anti-rabies vaccine upon arrival. If your pet shows no signs of disease and infection after seven days, they will be released from quarantine. The quarantine period can be extended up to six months, if necessary.
- Exception: Australia. Pets travelling to Malaysia from Australia will be placed under quarantine for a minimum of 10 days to check for Hendra virus. Dogs and cats from Australia may be vaccinated with an approved rabies vaccine and may have to undergo laboratory health tests, if deemed necessary. They will be released from quarantine after ten days if they are found free from infection and disease. The quarantine period can be extended up to six months if the officials consider it necessary.
Quarantine facilities in Malaysia
There are three quarantine centres for cats and dogs on Malaysia and all pets needing quarantine must fly into these cities only. The quarantine facilities are available at Kuala Lumpur International Airport at Sepang, Penang International Airport and Padang Besar. You will need to book space for your pets in advance at any of these centres.
The booking must be made 14 days before the date of your pet’s travel. You can call or email the Animal Quarantine Station to check availability of space before booking. It is strongly recommended to use a pet relocation agency to assist with pet travel to Malaysia to take care of all the minute details of the move.
When your pet lands in Malaysia, the pet travel agent will arrange for your pet to be collected from the airport and dropped off at the quarantine centre. The agent will also make sure your pet is fed, groomed and exercised regularly. The quarantine centres in Malaysia allows visitors, and you can visit your pet every day during the visiting hours. If you want your pet to be fed a special diet, you must procure it in Malaysia and supply it to the quarantine centre. If your dog or cat needs medication, the pet travel agent can arrange for the medicine and make sure it is administered as per the dosage.
Release from quarantine
Once your dog or cat has completed their quarantine successfully, and are showing no signs of disease or infection, they will be released from the quarantine centre. Pets will be released only to registered pet owners or pet import agents assigned by the owners. Remember to collect the Quarantine Certificate issued by the quarantine centre before collecting your pet.
International pet transport specialists
International pet travel to Malaysia is not always straightforward; there are many steps in the process, and it is crucial to satisfy all the steps for your pet to be able to enter the country. Improper documentation or inadequate health tests and vaccinations could mean your pet might be denied entry or will have to spend extra days in quarantine at your expense.