Exporting Pets From the Philippines to Australia
While moving pets to the Philippines is relatively easy and inexpensive, sending pets to Australia can be quite a difficult process. To quote former Australian Prime Minister Paul Keating, Australia is at “the arse end of the world”. The result of this geographical isolation is that Australia has managed to remain free from many diseases. To maintain freedom from these diseases, Australian quarantine is very strict. However, a responsible pet owner can still bring their furry friends to the land down under if they prepare well in advance.
Photo by Scott Allford
The Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service (AQIS) has a very informative website on all requirements for bringing your pets to Australia http://www.daffa.gov.au/aqis. However, if you do your research you will find that pets cannot be brought from the Philippines to Australia. This is mostly because Australia is Rabies-free and wants to stay that way. But if you do have pets in the Philippines, it is still possible to get them to Australia.
I have spoken to a few Aussie expats with pets in the Philippines and have found that most of them simply plan to leave their pets here in the Philippines when they leave. Either leaving them with friends or co-workers or just releasing the said pets onto the streets. When I hear such things I am appalled, as I grew up knowing that a pet is a responsibility for life. You would not simply leave your child and release it onto the streets, and likewise, you should not do this with your pets. If you plan to leave a pet, don’t bring it into your family in the first place.
While pets cannot be exported directly from the Philippines to Australia, there are nearby countries who can export pets directly to Oz. Most Pacific Island nations are on the approved list. In Asia, the following places are also accepted:
Malaysia (Peninsula, Sarawak, Sabah only)
So you can actually send your pet to these countries and then on to Australia. But then it’s not that simple still. An Aussie expat, and owner of two cats, contacted me a few months ago asking how to get her cats to Australia. She also told me that she was leaving for Australia in two weeks time. If you want to send your pets to one of the above listed countries and then onto Australia, they must stay in that country for no less than 6 months. Your pet must also have vaccinations, blood samples and blood tests to enter Australia and they must be conducted whilst the cat or dog is resident in an AQIS approved country. AQIS will not accept any pre-export vaccinations, blood samples or blood testing completed in an AQIS non approved country. If you have further questions, you can contact AQIS Ph: +61 2 6272 4454, Fax: +61 2 6272 3110, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you plan to send your pet to an AQIS approved country you should also check that they allow pet imports from the Philippines. I have a couple of options I am considering; either sending my boys to stay with a friend in Malaysia for 6 months or moving to Taiwan for a year and taking them there. Both Taiwan and Malaysia allow pet imports from the Philippines. All AQIS approved countries have their own requirements and fees for pet imports, so please check their respective quarantine sites for specific details.
Getting into Australia
To my knowledge the budget airlines do not allow pets on their flights, however, most of the major airlines do. Please contact your airline well in advance to book your pet on the flight. You will have to pay for your pet to fly, this is worked out by how much your pet weighs.
There are only 3 points of entry for pets entering Australia. They are located in Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and you need an import permit, and once it has been granted you can contact and book a place at one of these quarantine stations on arrival. You will not be able to see your pet at the airport as they will be collected by a quarantine officer and taken to the quarantine station. Pets must not arrive on Australian public holidays, weekends or outside the quarantine station office hours. You can arrange with the station to visit your pet, organize toys and treats and have your pet groomed or walked. Two animals of the same species may share the same accommodation and their food and bedding are supplied by the quarantine station.
The period of quarantine differs depending on the country of export. For Taiwan, Singapore and Japan there is a minimum of 30 days quarantine. For other countries it varies. Below are the charges that you will incur while your pet is undergoing quarantine.
Fee is charged for each animal
Veterinary inspection of animal Fee per 15 minutes. In the majority of cases only half an hour is required. This fee is charged for each animal. (Generally 30 minutes of time applies.) $40 Document clearance. This fee is charged for each animal. If additional information is required to complete document assessment an additional $40 per 15 minutes will be charged. $40
Accommodation of a cat
Daily rate for the first cat – $29
Accommodation of an additional cat in the consignment, if sharing accommodation with the first cat
Daily rate for subsequent cats – $23
Accommodation of a dog
Daily rate for the first dog – $39
Accommodation of an additional dog in the consignment, if sharing accommodation with the first dog
Daily rate for subsequent dogs – $33
Any additional veterinary care Additional veterinary care (e.g. booster vaccinations), are provided by a private veterinarian. The owner will be charged by a private veterinarian for stowage of goods. For animals not removed after quarantine finishes, the same fee that would apply if animals were still in quarantine will be charged.
Photo by Scott Allford
As it is quite a complicated process to get your pet into Australia, you must ensure you allow yourself plenty of time to adequately prepare so that you can meet all of the AQIS requirements. And when your pet arrives at your new home in Australia, very happy to see you again, you will know that all the hard work was worth it.
Exporting Pets to Other Countries (aside from Australia)
Each country has its own import requirements. Please check the following sites for the respective country’s requirements:
U.S.A – http://www.aphis.usda.gov/import_export/index.shtml
U.K – http://www.defra.gov.uk/animalh/quarantine/
New Zealand – http://www.maf.govt.nz/quarantine/
Or you may also check with your local embassy for the country you wish to export your pets to.
Scott M. Allford has lived and worked in Australia and South Korea and has travelled extensively throughout Asia- Mongolia, China, Tibet, Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Taiwan, Indonesia and Japan – fell in love with the Philippines and decided to allocate at least two years to comprehensively cover the country.
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