Australia is one of the most popular places to emigrate to currently. Many people moving out there can’t bear, understandably, to leave their cat behind. That’s where PetAir UK come in; we can help you every step of the way and make the whole process less stressful for you, taking care of things from flights and veterinary care to documentation and cat passports.
Australia are generally quite strict with pets being imported into the country, so the process is slightly more complicated. However, PetAir is run and owned by veterinary surgeons and assisted by a team of healthcare professionals, a lot of which have an expertise in transporting cats to certain places in the world, so you can always find help from someone who knows exactly what they’re talking about. Plus, we export around 400 cats per year to Australia, so you know your cat is in professional hands.
Since 01st March 2023, the rules have changed slightly and now pets need to serve 30 days quarantine rather than 10 days, unless they are pets returning to Australia. Pets need to have their identities verified by a government veterinarian and due to the way government vets are organised in UK, this is not possible at this time, but we hope it will change.
Below is a watered down step-by-step guide of the things that need to be prepared and done before the time of export to Australia.
1. Confirm general eligibility – Cats must not be under quarantine restrictions or be more than 30 days pregnant or suckling young at the time of export.
2. Make sure your cat is microchipped
3. Check rabies vaccination – Your cat will need to have a valid rabies vaccination (when it was at least 90 days old).
4. Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre (RNAT) test – This must be done between 180 days and 12 months before the export. Following the rabies vaccination, a vet must scan your cat’s microchip and collect a blood sample for the RNAT test. Your cat must have a valid RNAT test at the time of export.
5. An Official Government Vet must complete the rabies vaccination and RNAT test declaration – Must be done before applying for the import permit. The blood sample must be taken by a government approved vet (aka Official veterinarian) and the vet who takes the blood sample, cannot be the same vet who signs off the RNATT declaration – you need to take the blood results and declaration to a different practice or ask the team at Petair and we can help you with this. The vets at PetAir UK can do this for you if you chose us to apply for your import permit for your cats
6. Apply for an import permit – This should be done after you’ve received the declaration, and at least 42 days before the time of export. You can apply for the import permit on the http://www.agriculture.gov.au website.
7. Book a post-arrival quarantine space – Go to http://www.agriculture.gov.au for more information on booking quarantine space.
8. Check general vaccinations – It’s recommended that your cat gets vaccinated against feline enteritis, rhinotracheitis and calicivirus and they are valid for the whole post-arrival quarantine period.
9. Internal parasite treatments – Your cat must be treated by a vet twice with an internal parasite treatment; the 2 treatments must be at least 14 days apart and within 45 days before export. The second treatment must be given within 5 days before export.
10. External parasite treatments – These should start at least 21 days before export and repeated according to manufacturer’s directions until export. A vet must treat your cat with a product that kills fleas or ticks on contact.
11. Pre-export vet examination – Your cat must be examined by a vet and found to be free of external parasites (e.g. ticks) and signs of infectious/contagious diseases within 5 days before export.
12. Completion of Veterinary Health Certificate by an Official Government Vet – the export documents must be completed by a different vet practice to the practice who did the first treatments – which can be tricky to arrange so it may be best just to let the vets who work with Petair sign off the export forms.
After your cat lands in Australia, they will be transported into quarantine. All cats must complete a minimum of 30 days in a quarantine facility, unless the identity has been verified by a government vet or your cat has already travelled from Australia.
There is now a single quarantine station near to Melbourne, where the pets travel to. After quarantine your cats can be flown to your final destination in Australia and we can either help with this or you can arrange it yourself.
Flying a pet to Australia requires a lot of steps, but PetAir UK are on hand to help you with every part of the process.
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