Pet sitting, pet minding and pet boarding services in Melbourne

Taking Your Pet To Melbourne

How many people just don’t understand how your pets are part of your family? Here at Moving to Melbourne we understand just how you feel and if you’re contemplating the big move to Australia well of course you want to take them too. We have put together some information which hopefully will help make this move go more smoothly.
In some ways we are lucky that the UK is rabies free and therefore classed as a Category 2 country this means that any dogs and cats being brought into Australia only need to spend 30 days in quarantine in Australia before you can pick them up and take them to your new home.

Step 1: General Eligibility
Time Frame: Confirm eligibility before proceeding.
Residency: Dogs and cats must have been continuously living in the country of export for a minimum of 6 months immediately prior to export, or since direct importation from Australia, or since birth.
Your pet must not be under quarantine restriction at the time of export.
Age: Your pet must be at least 12 weeks old at time of export.
Pregnancy: Female pets must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant nor be suckling young at time of export.
Breed: Under the legislation of the Australian Customs Service (ACS) dogs of the following pure-breeds are not eligible for importation into Australia:
• dogo Argentino
• fila Brazileiro
• Japanese tosa
• Pit bull terrier or American pit bull
• Presa Canario
Under the legislation of the Department of the Environment and Water Resources, domestic/non-domestic animal hybrids (eg bengal cats or wolf crosses) are not eligible for import unless they are proven to be 5 or more generations removed from their pure-bred non-domestic ancestors. Please contact Wildlife Permits and Enforcement Section, the Department of the Environment and Water Resources on ph: +61 2 6274 1111 for further information.

Step 2: Microchip
Time Frame: Must be completed before continuing with the import permit process
Dogs and cats must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avid, Trovan, Destron or other ISO compatible reader. The microchip must be implanted before any testing takes place.

Step 3: Apply For a Permit to Import
Time Frame: Once microchip has been installed
Note: The AQIS import permits are valid for 6 months from the date of issue.
Please fill out the import permit application form and forward your permit application to:
AQIS - Live Animal Imports
GPO Box 858
Canberra 2601
Australia Fax: +61 2 6272 3110
Phone: +61 2 6272 4454
Note: Emailed applications must be scanned first as signatures are required.
Your pet will not be permitted entry into Australia without a valid AQIS import permit.
You do not have to complete the Rabies Vaccination and Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test Declaration (RNATT) form as a part of the application.

Step 4: AQIS Permit to Import
Time Frame: An AQIS import permit will be sent to the person/company nominated on the application form immediately following approval by AQIS of your application.
Note: The import permit can only be faxed or posted to a single location. Import Permits cannot be emailed.
A copy of the import permit may be used.
AQIS aims to approve all import permit applications within 10 working days, provided that all required information has been received at the time of submission. The omission of any required information will result in an extended processing period. Please allow additional time for the import permit/s to be received by fax or delivered through international mail.
The import permit contains Veterinary Certificates A and B. This information package will take you through the steps required to complete these veterinary certificates. You may continue to prepare your pet/s for export before the AQIS import permit and veterinary certificates are received.

Step 5: Book Quarantine Accommodation
Time Frame: On receipt of your pets import permit.
The issuance of an import permit does not guarantee a space at your preferred Quarantine Station
On receipt of the import permit you will need to contact your preferred quarantine station directly to make a reservation for your pet/s.
Provision of an airway bill number to the animal quarantine station will be required to confirm your pet/s reservation closer to the date of departure.
Information regarding the operation of the quarantine stations along with the station contact details can be viewed through the following weblink: quarantine accommodation

Step 6: Locate an Official Government Veterinarian, A Government Approved Veterinarian and a Government Approved Laboratory in the AQIS approved country of export.
Time Frame: As soon as possible
An Official Government Veterinarian: is a government officer usually employed by the government veterinarian administration (eg in the UK - Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs) in the exporting country. Official Government Veterinarians generally do not work in private practice. Official Government Veterinarians are able to sign certificates on behalf of the government’s veterinary administration. Official Government Veterinarians endorse Veterinary Certificate A and complete Veterinary Certificate B provided with your AQIS import permit. The Official Government Veterinarian may assist you with locating a “government approved veterinarian” and a “government approved laboratory”.
A Government Approved Veterinarian: You should contact the government veterinary administration in your country to determine which veterinarians you can use to prepare your pet for export. This government approved veterinarian will prepare your pet for export to Australia and fill in the details of this preparation on Veterinary Certificate A provided with your AQIS import permit.
Government Approved Laboratories: are approved by the veterinary service in the country of export for testing samples from animals destined for export. AQIS accepts the use of laboratories approved by the veterinary service within the country of export for testing for export purposes provided that the testing laboratory is in an AQIS approved country.
To locate appropriate veterinarians and laboratories, contact the government quarantine, agriculture or food departments in the country of export.

Step 7: Commence Travel Arrangements
Time frame: You will need to have the import permit to start travel arrangements
Your pet can only arrive into Australia through the following airports; Sydney (New South Wales), Melbourne (Victoria) or Perth (Western Australia).
AQIS does not place any restrictions on the airline you choose, however your pet must travel as “Manifested Cargo” (not in the cabin) and in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved container for dogs and cats. Strict compliance with container specifications is vital for the safe and secure transport of your animal. Problems occur if your pet can escape from this container or if any part of its body (nose, limbs, or tail) can protrude. Your airline can help you with these requirements.
During transport to Australia cats and dogs may transit (touch down but stay on the same plane) in any country AQIS approved or not. Pets may only trans-ship (change aircraft or vessel) through Amsterdam, Copenhagen, Frankfurt or Heathrow airports, or, any country recognised by AQIS as rabies free territory (i.e. AQIS category 1, 2, 3A or 3B countries). Trans-shipment may also require approval from the quarantine authority in the country of trans-shipment. AQIS strongly advises booking direct flights wherever possible due to health and welfare concerns, eg pets missing connecting flights and remaining in airports for extended periods.
If you are not able to organise travel yourself there are animal transport agents in most countries who can make arrangements on your behalf. The following website lists pet transport companies worldwide;
Please note there is an additional $25 fee applicable to the pick-up of your pet if it arrives in Australia outside business hours (8:00am - 4:30 PM). You are also required to seek the approval of the relevant quarantine station for after hour’s pick-ups prior to import. Please note that there are no pick-ups on Australian public holidays or weekends.
AQIS accepts no responsibility for animals that escape en route, and all transport costs are at the expense of the importer.

Step 8: General Vaccinations
Time frame: Between 1 year and 14 days prior to export.
Vaccinations must be valid for the entire quarantine period in Australia. If the general vaccinations expire prior to your pet’s release from quarantine, booster vaccinations will be administered at the owner’s expense. All vaccinations must be administered within an ‘AQIS’ approved country.
Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, infectious hepatitis, canine parvovirus (parvo), para-influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough). If Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough) vaccination is not available in the country of origin, dogs may be vaccinated for kennel cough on arrival in Australia at the owner’s expense.
Note: Vaccination against Leptospira interrogans are not recommended as they can interfere with testing which may result in your dog/s being ineligible for export to Australia.
Cats must have been vaccinated against feline enteritis (feline panleucopenia, feline distemper), rhinotracheitis and calicivirus.

Step 9: Dogs Only – Brucellosis, Leptospirosis, Ehrlichiosis, External
Parasites and Leishmaniosis
Time frame: Within 30 days of export.
Blood tests: Arrange for a government approved veterinarian to scan your dog’s microchip and draw blood samples for brucella, ehrlichia (tropical canine pancytopaenia), leptospira and leishmaniosis testing. Your dog’s microchip number must be recorded on the blood tube and on the laboratory submission form. The blood must be sent to a government-approved laboratory for testing. The laboratory report must be in English and link your pets’ microchip number to the result. If there is no microchip number on the laboratory report or the testing requirements are not met your pet/s may be re-exported or re-tested whilst in quarantine.
These results must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A. Copies of all laboratory test results must be endorsed by an Official Government Veterinarian and accompany your pet to Australia. Contact AQIS if your dog does not meet the requirements of these tests.
Brucellosis: Your dog/s must be tested for Brucella canis infection by a serum agglutination test within 30 days of export. The test must produce a negative result. Once blood is collected for this test your dog must not be mated or inseminated prior to export to Australia.
Leptospirosis: Dogs must be tested for Leptospira canicola by a microscopic agglutination test within 30 days of export.
Dogs that record a negative result (less than 50% agglutination at a serum dilution of 1:100) are eligible for import.
Dogs that record a result of positive at 1:100 or more, but negative at 1:800, must be re-tested 14 days or more after the first test. The second test must also show a titre result of negative at 1:800 or less.
Dogs that record a result positive at 1:800 or more are ineligible for import.
Note: Vaccination against Leptospira interrogans are not recommended as they can interfere with testing which may result in your dog/s being ineligible for export to Australia.
Ehrlichiosis: Your dog/s must be tested for Ehrlichia canis infection by the indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT). The test must produce a negative result at a dilution at 1:40.
Treatment for External Parasites
Note: You will have to commence treating your pet/s for external parasites at the same time as taking blood for ehrlichia as this disease is spread by ticks.
A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog with a long lasting acaricide that is registered for the control of ticks and mites, permethirin, fiprirol eg Frontline® or Permoxin®. Oral products and medicated collars are not satisfactory, neither are products that kill ticks only after biting your animal. Washes and rinses that prevent ticks and tick bites are acceptable. The treatment must be repeated according to the manufacturer’s instructions for the product used from first use to the date of export in order to prevent infestation with ticks and mites.
Leishmaniosis: Your dog/s must be tested for Leishmania infantum. infection by an indirect fluorescent antibody test (IFAT) or an enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The test must produce a negative result.
Dates of treatment must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A.

Step 10: Dogs that have lived in Africa - Babeosis
Time frame: Within 28 days of export.
Note: This treatment should not be given within 48 hours of treatment for external parasites as the chance of side-effects may increase.
Option 1: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog once with imidocarb dipropionate (Forray-65®, Hoechst or Imizol® by Coopers) at a rate of 7.5 mg per Kg body weight by subcutaneous injection.
Option 2: A government approved veterinarian must treat your dog twice with imidocarb dipropionate (Forray-65®, Hoechst or Imizol® by Coopers) at a rate of 6.6 mg per Kg body weight by subcutaneous injection given two weeks apart.
Details of treatment/s must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A.

Step 11: Internal and External Parasite Treatment
Time frame: Within 4 days of export. This can be done at the same time as the completion
of Veterinary Certificate A.
External parasites:
For dogs: You must have already commenced external parasite treatment for dogs (refer step 10). Your dog/s may require repeat treatment for external parasites.
For cats: Cats must be treated with a product approved for the treatment of ticks and fleas.
Oral products, injections and medicated collars are not satisfactory nor are products that rely on the tick biting your pet. Washes, rinses and spot on products that kill ticks on contact are acceptable.
The active ingredient, dose rate and treatment date/s must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A.
Internal parasites: Cats and dogs must be treated with a product approved for the treatment of nematodes and cestodes eg Drontal ®.
The active ingredient, dose rate and treatment date/s must be recorded on Veterinary Certificate A.

Step 12: Completion of Veterinary Certificate A
Including Pre-Export Inspection
Time frame: Within 4 days of export.
Please read over Veterinary Certificate A prior to the appointment. You will have to bring your pet/s and all documentation (eg. Vaccination certificates, laboratory reports) to this inspection. Your pet will be required to be free from clinical signs of infectious or contagious diseases and external parasites and be fit to travel and undergo quarantine in Australia.
Veterinary Certificate A is to be completed by a government approved or an Official Government Veterinarian.
Any corrections to the entries made on Veterinary Certificate A will only be accepted if the original entry has been struck through and remains legible – correction fluid must not be used. An Official Government Veterinarian must sign each correction. No alterations may be made to the AQIS import permit.

Step 13: Completion of Veterinary Certificate B
Sealing Animal in the Shipping Container
Time frame: After the completion of Veterinary Certificate A, usually on the day of departure.
The following documents must be presented to the Official Government Veterinarian at this time for signature and stamp (endorsing) and then travel with your pet/s to Australia.
• Original or copy of the AQIS import permit
• Completed Veterinary Certificate A for endorsement by an Official Government Veterinarian.
• Veterinary Certificate B for completion and endorsement by an Official Government Veterinarian
• General vaccination certificates for endorsement by an Official Government Veterinarian.
• Brucellosis, Ehrlichiosis, Leptospirosis and Leishmania laboratory reports in English (dogs only) for endorsement by an Official Government Veterinarian.
Copies may be used however the paperwork arriving in Australia with your pet must bear original signatures and stamps.
An Official Government Veterinarian must record the identification number of the seal on Veterinary Certificate B, and seal your pet into the cage. Under no circumstances must your pet be released from its cage once sealed. Ensure your pet is prepared for travel before the cage is sealed.
A water container should be fixed inside the cage. An external funnel with a hose leading into the water container should be provided to allow water to be replenished without opening the cage. Sufficient absorbent bedding should also be provided (soiled bedding may be destroyed on arrival in Australia). The container should also be marked “Live Animal”.

Step 14: Check Pet-in With the Airline
Time frame: Please check with your airline.
In most cases your pet(s) will be checked in at the freight terminal, not the passenger terminal.
The import permit, Veterinary Certificates A and B, blood test results and vaccination records must travel to Australia with your pet/s. These documents may be originals or copies but must bear the original signature and stamp of an Official Government Veterinarian.
Please make photocopies of all documents. AQIS recommends that you retain one set of photocopied documents to be with you at all times.
If, in exceptional circumstances, your pet’s container must be opened during transit or transhipment it should be resealed and a certificate provided to AQIS by an Official Government Veterinarian, port authority, or captain of the aircraft detailing the circumstances. Instructions to this effect should be attached to the outside of the container before departure from the port of export.
On Arrival in Australia
On arrival your pet will be met by AQIS staff and transported to the quarantine station. AQIS provides housing, bedding, food, water and care for your pet for the duration of its stay. All quarantine costs must be met by the importer, an invoice for these charges will be posted to you after arrival of your pet in Australia and must be paid prior to release of your pet.
Should your pet require veterinary care, AQIS will contact you and arrange for a private veterinarian to visit your pet. Private veterinarians will charge you directly.

Heartworm - Dogs
Please note that heartworm disease of dogs is endemic in Australia. Heartworm is caused by the micro-organism Dirofilaria immitis and is spread by mosquitoes. The larvae migrate to the heart and develop into worms. No testing or treatment is required for importation into Australia. A range of drugs are 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. The occurrence of heartworm in dogs varies widely in different parts of Australia.
Importers should talk to their vet about whether treatment is necessary in their area and types of drugs that are available, after the dog/s is released from Quarantine.
If you would like your dog to be placed on heartworm medication please contact the quarantine station that will accommodate your dog. The importer can arrange directly for a private veterinarian to take a blood sample from your dog to check for heartworm infection prior to administering medication. The private veterinarian will bill you directly for all costs.

For further information on Spotswood Quarantine Facility Please View the Following Information Sheet:

  Spotswood Quarantine Facility

 Moving to Melbourne  I  About  I  Testimonials  I  Services  I  Accommodation  I  Contact  I  News  I  Forum  I  Weather  I  Suburbs  I  Places to visit  I  Resources  I  Site Map