Expat Guide – All You Need To Know About Relocating A Pet To Australia (2021)
Moving down under? Your first days in a new country, let alone a new continent, always seems to feel like a challenge. Having your pet and best friend around to ease the relocation is always a welcome. It is no wonder then that relocating a pet to Australia is a common but welcome challenge faced by many expats. Thankfully, there are many resources available. From professional to self-help services, relocating your pet to Australia will be a challenge but you won’t be alone. To help you along the way, here’s everything you need to know.
Where Is Your Pet Travelling From?
In general, cats and dogs looking to move to Australia belong into 3 country groups, with different rules applying to each group when relocating your pet to Australia:
1. Group 1 Countries (New Zealand, Norfolk Island)
Dogs and cats from New Zealand and Norfolk Island do not require an import permit to enter Australia. The process is relatively straightforward, with a statutory declaration, microchip, health certificate and arrival clearance being all the hurdles that you need to clear.
2. Group 2 Countries
Group 2 countries are pre-approved as being rabies-free. Common countries in this group for expats include Japan, Singapore and Iceland. The process of bringing your pet from these countries is extensive and includes an import permit, vaccination, and tests for parasites. Your pet will also have to stay at a quarantine facility for at least 10 days.
3. Group 3 Countries
Group 3 countries are countries in which rabies is either absent or well-controlled. These include the UK, US, Hong Kong as well as most of Europe. If you’re relocating your pet to Australia from one of these countries, be aware that the process is going to be more onerous than a Group 2 country. In particular, your pet will have to pass a Rabies neutralising antibody titre (RNAT) test at least 180 days before the date of relocation. Therefore, a last-minute relocation out of the exporting country is not an option.
4. Rest of the World
Dogs and cats from all other countries not listed in any of the three groups are not eligible for direct import to Australia. You will have to import your animal from an approved Group 2 or 3 country, with your pet having to reside for at least 6 months before following the standard relocation rules.
Can My Dog Or Cat Be Imported?
These cat breeds cannot be imported into Australia: Savannah cat, Safari cat, Chausie and Bengal.
Furthermore, these dog breeds cannot be imported into Australia: Pit bull Terriers, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, Kunming wolfdog, Italian wolfdog. For the full list of animals, visit the Australian Government’s Department of Agriculture.
Costs You Should Expect
As you can already tell, relocating your pet to Australia is not going to be cheap, and is highly dependant on the country group that you are relocating your pet to Australia from. Therefore, we recommend factoring up to $4,000 – $5,000 to relocate your pet out to Australia. This includes costs related to quarantine, vaccinations, and veterinary checkups.
Choosing The Right Pet Relocation Company
With the complicated and strict rules on pet relocation to Australia, it may be wise to turn to a professional. With a competitive market out there, here’s what we recommend you to look out for:
1. International Pet and Animal Transport Association (IPATA)
IPATA is an international accreditation that certifies professional pet transportation specialists. We recommend going for an IPATA certified service to manage the journey for you.
2. Confirm the exact range of services on offer.
Ensure that the company can handle the end to end relocation to Australia including the quarantine process and all tests.
3. Check that the shortlisted pet relocation company
Make sure that it has the experience of relocating your pet to Australia from your destination company. Be sure to also read testimonials and online reviews to confirm their credibility.
Relocating your pet to Australia is going to be a challenge. You will need a long time horizon and excellent resources to get it over the line. Fortunately, having your pet with you will feel like it’s worth all that effort!