How do I move my pets to Australia from South Africa?

Emigrating from South Africa to Australia may have been done by millions before you, but that does not make it any easier. One way to lower the stress of the big move is to feel the calming presence of your four-legged friends.

The good news is that you can take your beloved dogs or cats – no more than two cats and/or two dogs – to Australia with you. Being an island, Australia is particularly strict about keeping disease and the like off its shores. Thankfully, South Africa is Group 3 Country, in other words, rabies well-controlled, if not absent. You will have to jump through some hoops to get your pet across, but it is possible with a little planning.

Checklist for emigrating with your pets 

1. Confirm the eligibility of your pet to enter Australia

To be eligible, your cat or dog:

  •         is not one of the banned breeds – Pit Bull Terrier, American Pit Bull, Japanese Tosa, Dogo Argentino, or African Wild Cat.
  •         needs to be a minimum of 12 weeks old – no puppies or kittens. Females cannot be suckling or be more than 30 days pregnant.
  •         must have been living in South Africa for at least six months before the proposed move.
  •         must be microchipped.

2. Apply for an import permit

Because pet import permit applications take around 20 days to process, apply for it with sufficient time to spare. (Once issued, they are valid for 12 months.)

Apply for the permit from the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website and double-check for any updated requirements before getting started.

3. Prepare your paperwork

Together with the valid import permit, you will also need:

  •         A vaccination certificate from your vet to confirm that your cat or dog has been immunised against rabies and is up to date with vaccines that control parasites and infectious diseases.
  •         Results of medical tests for conditions like leptospirosis and brucellosis.

4. Book a place at a quarantine centre

Upon arrival in Australia, your fur babies will have to spend at least 10 days in a quarantine centre in either Sydney, Melbourne, or Perth. Book their spot well in advance.

5. Select a pet transportation service

A pet transportation company collect your pet from your home, drive them to the airport, and transfer them to the quarantine centre in Australia.

Pet transportation companies can also assist you will the items listed above to make sure that everything is on track and ready for departure day.

The Tri-Nations Migration team are the best emigration advisers to provide you with assistance when emigrating to Australia or New Zealand. Contact us to find out more about how we can help you.

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