Quarantine for Dogs and Cats in Australia

by PetCloud / Pet Owner Advice / 20 Sep 2020

Quarantine for Dogs and Cats in Australia

What does it mean to quarantine a pet?

If you want to bring a pet into Australia, you need to follow the step by step guide offered by the Department of Agriculture.  This means a process of vaccinations and testing and segregated accommodation at a government centre for a specified time period.

Why do we quarantine pets?

To ensure they don’t bring diseases into the country.

How long do pets stay in quarantine in Australia?

All pet cats and dogs entering Australia from category II and III countries are required by the Australian Government to spend 10 days in the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) at Melbourne.

The length of the quarantine depends on the country your pet is travelling from and your pet's health status. It also varies depending on the type of pet, and the steps involved for that pet type, as specified by the Department of Agriculture.  

Where are Australia’s quarantine facilities located?

Australia’s only pet quarantine facility is located in Mickleham, Victoria.  See latest news on this as at Sept 18, 2020: "Cats and dogs may now be transhipped via Sydney to the Post Entry Quarantine Facility in Melbourne under a new temporary arrangement with Qantas airlines when there is no option for them to fly directly to Melbourne."

What is involved in quarantining dogs and cats?

The officers at the quarantine centre will assess your pet upon entry into Australia to ensure that he or she is healthy and is not carrying dangerous diseases or parasites. Australia has stringent biosecurity laws in place to maintain its rabies-free status and to protect the countries flora and fauna. It is essential for any pet dog or cat entering the country to fulfil all veterinary requirements and be free from diseases and external parasites.

As the post-entry quarantine centre is in Melbourne, all pets flying into Australia must land at Melbourne International Airport.

Can I send my pet's favourite chew toy and blankey to Mickleham Quarantine Facility?
No. Pets toys and blankets are considered a biosecurity risk and will be destroyed as soon as the pet enters the quarantine facility.  The quarantine facility will provide bedding for cats and dogs to suit their breed and age. 

What will my pet be fed at Mickleham Quarantine Facility?

Dogs and cats are fed high-quality commercial dry food once a day. You can arrange a letter of request from your vet if your pet needs to be fed more than once a day, and the officers at the centre will comply.

How to avoid pet quarantine in Australia?

You can’t avoid pet quarantine in Australia, unless your pet is arriving from New Zealand.

Do all pets have to go to quarantine?
No.  Pets arriving from New Zealand are not subject to a quarantine period because it is a rabies-free category I country. These pets can travel directly to one of the four major ports – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, or Perth and immediately onto their new home.  Pets from category II and III countries, such Europe, United Kingdom, USA and UAE, have to spend a minimum of 10 days at the PEQ in Melbourne when they enter Australia.

Can I visit my dog in quarantine Australia?

No. But it's just for 10 days, hold tight.

What are the Pet Arrival protocols at Mickleham?
Once your pet arrives at the Melbourne International Airport, quarantine officers will collect them and bring them to the quarantine facility for further assessment. Pet collection hours are between 4.30 and 16.30 hours on weekdays. If your flight lands in Melbourne outside these hours, additional charges will be levied.

What are the Pet Release protocols at Mickleham?

When your pet's quarantine requirements are fulfilled, the pet parent or the nominated pet transport agency can collect them and their crate from the PEQ facility in Mickleham at a scheduled release appointment time.  Pet collection hours are between 10.00 and 12.00 hours for the general public and registered animal transport companies can collect pets outside of these hours. Please note your pet cannot stay longer than their release date at PEQ.

If you cannot collect your pet from the facility for any reason, it is recommended to enlist the services of a Pet Taxi Service to collect your pet on your behalf, and transport them to an insured, police checked, PetCloud Pet Sitter's home, or a speciality Pet Transport Company should be booked to lodge them for their onwards flight.

What is the Cost of quarantine and bringing a dog to Australia?

Australia pet quarantine costs and Dog quarantine Australia cost are $2000 AUD. If your pet has to stay on for longer, or if they need extra vet care or other services, additional charges apply.

Can I get my dog walked by a visiting dog walker in quarantine?

No.  Each dog is housed in large, individual enclosures.  The dog run has access to exercise yards and the veterinary examination rooms. If a threat of biosecurity risk is detected, the pet is shifted to a special isolation suite, away from the other animals in quarantine.  

If you are bringing in multiple pets, quarantine officers will try and accommodate pets from the same family in adjacent pens.  The facility has around 400 climate-controlled pens for dogs, each with an attached outdoor area and underfloor heating. There are 240 cat pens in the centre.

Can I get a Pet Sitter to visit my dog in quarantine in Australia?

No. Your pet will be exercised regularly by a handler at the PEQ facility. All pets will be bathed and groomed for biosecurity and hygiene reasons at the centre.

Can I get a Vet to visit my dog in quarantine in Australia?

We’re not sure. You can ask the Quarantine Facility in Mickleham, Victoria.

How do I contact Mickleham Quarantine Facility?
Phone: 1800 900 090 or +61 3 8318 6700 (outside Australia)
Fax: +61 3 9391 0860
Email: PEQservices@agriculture.gov.au
Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 – 16:00 hours
Weekends and Australian public holidays: closed


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