Australia only has 3 quarantine stations these are:
Melbourne – Spotswood Quarantine Station
Sydney – Eastern Creek Quarantine Station
Perth – Byford Quarantine Station
They get booked up quite quickly and sometimes there may be a
long waiting list especially for Spotswood in Melbourne. It is
therefore necessary for you to plan your pets travel well in
advance. If you find your animal is due to be released before
your arrival in Australia
Minders can collect your pet and board it until you arrive.
Staff at Quarantine Stations
The staff are experienced and carefully selected, ensuring that
your pet receives expert care and attention throughout its stay
in quarantine. Staff are fully trained and in many cases have
prior experience as veterinary nurses and boarding kennel
attendants. Your pet will be assigned to carers who will attend
to them throughout their stay.
Please note that the staff are Commonwealth government employees
and are unable to accept gifts. If you wish to express your
thanks to staff members, Client Feedback forms are available at
Booking Cats and Dogs into an Animal Quarantine Stations
AVAILABILITY OF SPACE FOR CATS AND DOGS AT ANIMAL QUARANTINE
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) wishes
to advise that there is currently high demand for kennels at
some of our Australian animal quarantine stations. Due to this
demand the quarantine stations may not have kennels available at
the intending time to import. People wishing to have their cats
and dogs accommodated at an Australian animal quarantine station
should contact the relevant quarantine station directly to
REMEMBER: An import permit does not guarantee a space at an
animal quarantine station.
To book a space at an Australian animal quarantine station, a
valid import permit is required. Once an import permit has been
issued, contact the relevant animal quarantine station to make a
reservation for the animal with the valid import permit number.
Provision of an air waybill number to the animal quarantine
station will be required to confirm the reservation closer to
the date of departure.
Once your pet is booked onto a flight to Australia, the airline
will notify the relevant quarantine station of your pet’s import
permit number, arrival date and time.
Your pet will be met at the airport by an AQIS officer. When a
plane lands there are a number of formalities that must occur
before leaving the airport and taking your pet to the station.
Your pet will need to be cleared by the Australian Customs
Service. To avoid any delays with this clearance your
physical/home address in Australia (rather than a post office
box number or the quarantine station address) should be noted on
the Air Way Bill. Once formalities are complete, your pet will
be transported directly to the animal quarantine station by an
Staff will always endeavour to get your pet to the station in
the shortest time practicable. On arrival at the station your
pet will be introduced to a quarantine officer. The officer will
weigh your pet and check for signs of stress and illness before
settling the animal into its accommodation.
If you are importing two dogs or two cats the station is able to
house them together and this should be specified on the import
permit application form. If you have more than two of the same
species arriving together we will do our best to ensure they are
housed next to each other.
Your pet’s transport container will be disinfected and stored
awaiting collection. Animals must not arrive on weekends or
public holidays or outside station office hours without
obtaining prior consent from AQIS in writing.
Generally speaking, dogs and cats cope with the flight and their
time in quarantine very well and with your cooperation AQIS
staff will endeavour to make your pet’s stay as comfortable as
An invoice will be forwarded to the importer listed on your
import permit within approximately 10 days of your pets arrival.
If your postal address has changed since you received your
permit, you must contact the station so we can update your
Your account must be settled prior to the release of your
animal. Note: If your animal is due for release on a weekend or
public holiday please ensure that you have settled your account
on a business day prior, as payment cannot be taken on a
weekend. The stations accept Visa, MasterCard, Bankcard and
AMEX. Overseas credit cards are acceptable. Personal cheques
cannot be accepted within 14 days of release.
Bedding which travels in the crate with your pet is generally
soiled and may be destroyed on arrival. If you wish to send
bedding for your pet's stay in quarantine it should be attached
to the outside of the crate. Alternatively bedding can be
sourced in Australia, and mailed to the quarantine station or
supplied by you during a visit to the station. Please note that
beanbags are not a permitted form of bedding.
Toys and Treats
If you wish to bring in treats for your pet, you will need to
discuss their suitability with your animal’s attendant to ensure
they are not overfed. Pet food cannot be imported into Australia
without first obtaining an AQIS Import Permit.
Some toys can present a hazard to your pet. Please avoid toys
that are easily destroyed by biting or chewing (as they are a
choking hazard) and those suspended by string. You should
discuss the suitability of toys with your animal’s attendant.
Suitable toys can be sourced in Australia and sent to the
Your pet will be fed a nutritionally balanced commercial dog or
cat food. As feeding differs between stations, please refer to
the individual station information for details.
It is the importers responsibility to provide any special
dietary requirements including prescription diets to the
Quarantine station for your pet/s if required. Do not send food
with your animal/s.
Quarantine Station staff provide basic grooming and washing to
ensure that your pet’s coat remains clean and un-matted. Owners
are welcome to groom their pets during the quarantine period or
to arrange for a private groomer at their own expense.
Please note: if an animal arrives at the quarantine station in a
matted condition or is difficult to groom, it is the
responsibility of the owner to arrange for a private groomer at
the owner’s expense.
Visiting your Pet
You can visit and interact with your pet during its stay in
quarantine. Visiting hours differ between stations. Please refer
to the relevant station information for details.
AQIS does not allow you to visit your pet on its day of arrival,
as staff are busy making the trip to the airport, checking your
pet into the station, providing food and water and settling it
into the accommodation.
Whilst quarantine staff do not generally exercise pets, each
station is equipped with outdoor, exercise yards for dogs.
Owners may exercise their dogs, weather permitting, subject to
the availability of the yards. Please contact the relevant
station that is accommodating your dog to find out more about
when your dog/s can be exercised.
Veterinary Attendance for Animals
An AQIS quarantine veterinary officer examines your animal
within three days of arriving at the station. Quarantine
veterinary officers only investigate exotic disease symptoms. A
private veterinarian must provide any other veterinary attention
should it be required.
A Veterinarian Attendance Authorisation form is required to be
completed prior to import . Please complete this and return it
at the time of application or to the relevant station as soon as
you can. The form gives AQIS the authorisation to seek
veterinary services for your pet if required during its stay. It
also allows you to nominate a private veterinarian of your
choice. If you do not have a private veterinarian, the station
will engage one on your behalf. Please note that veterinary
bills are not included in your station fees. If a veterinarian
is engaged for your pet, they will invoice you separately.
In the event that your animal requires veterinary attention, the
station will make every attempt to contact you. If this is not
possible the station will not hesitate to call a veterinarian.
Each station has a small veterinary clinic for use by private
practitioners if medical treatment or surgery is required.
Note: It is important that the quarantine station has a name,
address and phone number of a contact based here in Australia,
in the event that your pet experiences any feeding or health
problems. Please include these details on your permit
Medicating Animals whilst in Quarantine
AQIS discourages, on welfare grounds the importation of
chronically ill animals.Owners should also take into account the
age and condition of their animals as well as travel and
climatic stress when deciding to export their dogs/cats to
If your pet has any veterinary problems or requires medication
(eg. diabetes/ epilepsy) please contact the Quarantine station
several months in advance to discuss this with a AQIS officer or
veterinarian. This should also be specified at the time of
submission of your application.
AQIS does not provide any medication. If your pet is on any kind
of prescription medication we will need a letter from your
veterinarian outlining your pet's medical history prior to the
export of the animal, the type of medication required and the
dose rate. Quarantine staff will administer medication to your
The Quarantine station are able to provide good basic care to
healthy animals, and in some cases, basic medication to those
with stable illnesses.
Please note: AQIS staff are available to medicate animals from
8.00am to 4.30pm - 7 days a week. Staff are not available at the
Quarantine Station outside these hours.
Please note that these are NOT the hours that the Station is
open to the public. For public opening hours, please refer to
the visiting hours for each individual Quarantine Station.
Owners of animals who require the administration of therapeutics
(eg. epileptic/diabetic animals) outside the hours of 8.00am -
4.30pm should discuss alternative treatment intervals with their
veterinarian prior to importation to Australia.
If staff are required to attend the Station after hours in the
case of an emergency, additional overtime charges will apply.
Female pets must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant nor be
suckling young and must be eligible for the minimum 30 days in
Quarantine at time of export.
Heartworm for Dogs
Please note that heartworm disease of dogs is endemic in
Australia. Its occurrence varies widely in different areas of
Australia. Heartworm is caused by the microorganism Dirofilaria
immitis and is spread by mosquitoes. The larvae migrate to the
heart and develop into worms over a period of about 6 months. No
testing or treatment is required for importation into Australia.
A range of drugs is available to prevent heartworm disease. For
dogs that have never been exposed to heartworm, there is at
least a four months window during which preventative treatment
can be safely started. For most dogs there is no need for
treatment during quarantine. Importers should talk to their vet
about whether treatment is necessary in their area and type of
drug that is most suitable for their dog, after the dog is
released from quarantine.
Alternatively, if your dog is staying several months in
quarantine and if you would like your dog to be placed on
heartworm medication you can arrange directly for a private
veterinarian to examine your dog, to take a blood sample, if
necessary, and to prescribe the most appropriate medication. The
private veterinarian will bill you directly for all costs.
Animal departure hours differ between stations. Please refer to
the relevant station for details.
Owners are responsible for the collection of their animals from
the Quarantine station. If you are unable to pick up your animal
on their release date, you must contact the station prior to the
specified release date. In most cases it is not possible for
your animal to stay beyond its designated release date.
Minders can collect your pet and board it until you arrive
in Australia or you have found a pet friendly rental.
Animals may be released on weekends and public holidays. Please
refer to the Animal Departures details of each Quarantine