If you have decided to move to the USA or Canada and wish to take your pet dog or cat with you, there are is just a couple of procedures required in order to allow your pet’s swift export. This may or may not include a Rabies vaccine depending on your travel intentions.
- You must contact AQIS (Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service) and notify them of your intention to export your pet – guidelines are available on their website http://www.agriculture.gov.au/export/controlled-goods/live-animals/companion/notice-intention-live-animals. A “Notice of Intent Form” form must be submitted to AQIS a minimum of 10 days prior to your intended travel date. Please note that if you are planning on returning to Australia with your pet, you will need to obtain import information from AQIS (http://www.agriculture.gov.au/import/goods/live-animals) , as we are not qualified give advice regarding re–importing your pet to Australia. It is best to understand these requirements prior to leaving Australia as they may affect the decision to take your pet, as well as impact on your travel plans with your pet overseas.
- Your pet will require a microchip (ISO standard) for identification. If your pet is not already microchipped we can implant one here at the clinic. The cost is $91.40
- Rabies vaccination is optional and not actually recommended unless you are considering returning to Australia within 6-12 months. The vaccine we use in Australia is ‘killed’ whereas the vaccines used in endemic areas where rabies is common are live vaccines and they are more effective and appropriate. It is suggested that you organize to have your pet(s) vaccinated as soon as possible once you are settled in the US or Canada and seek the advise of the local veterinarian regarding the best regime.
- All exported pets require a pre-export consultation and treatment to establish that they are in excellent physical health within 48 hours prior to export, to ensure that they will be fit for the long flight and any time in transit, and to ensure they are not carrying any contagious diseases. Products given to prevent ticks, fleas, mites and intestinal worms are also given at this time. This check and treatment must be performed by an AQIS accredited veterinarian. The cost of this visit (excluding other requirements specific to your country of destination) is approximately $240-$350. We are not currently providing this service.
- -Following this, you take your signed documents to AQIS at the airport and have them approved (you need to book an appointment for this with them). Costs vary from about $130 per pet. Please contact them for an exact price. It is best to make a time for this appointment approximately 1 1/2 hours or more after your scheduled health check. Your flights must not be booked on a Sunday or Monday for the logistical reason that we are not open Sundays, we don’t always have an AQIS accredited vet working on Saturdays, and AQIS only operate on weekdays.
- IATA (airline approved) crates of an appropriate size are required for the transportation of your pet. Crates can be purchased online, some pet store retailers and pet transport companies. The airline will examine the crate at the time of the flight to see it is IATA approved. If you are unsure if your crate meets the required standards, please seek the advice of AQIS well in advance of your flight date.
- The flight ticket for your pet must be organised by yourself – we cannot give advice regarding the flight’s costs or logistics as every airline and route is different. You need to contact the airline direct to discuss their requirements. Some airlines have restrictions on which breeds they will carry, and also some will not allow you arrange the booking and request that you use a transport company also so please be aware of this.
If you would like the whole process to be stress-free we recommend you use the help of a transport company such as Dogtainers http://www.dogtainers.com.auas they will be able to provide all the necessary advice and documentation, rather than attempting the process on your own. Generally the transport company will look after all your paperwork, provide the crates, book the flights and do the final 48 hour vet check up, treatments and AQIS check. This will take a load off your mind and makes for a smooth, hassle free export.