Media Release

Dogs and cats home sooner with new biosecurity conditions

7 November 2013

Pet owners will be reunited with their animals sooner thanks to new import conditions released today that streamline the process for cats and dogs arriving in Australia.

Minister for Agriculture, Barnaby Joyce, said the minimum post-arrival quarantine stay would be reduced from 30 days to 10 days.

“That’s going to benefit many of the thousands of cat and dog importers, who are often families already managing the logistics of relocating their lives to Australia,” Minister Joyce said.

“In 2012 about 3600 dogs and 1700 cats were imported into Australia, requiring post-arrival quarantine. For pets imported from most countries, these new conditions will substantially reduce the time they need to be separated from their owners.

“The new cat and dog import conditions are based on the most rigorous scientific analysis and evidence, as well as stakeholder input, that is detailed in the revised policy.”

From 2 December 2013, people can apply for an import permit under the new conditions. Cats and dogs imported under the new arrangements can be booked into quarantine facilities from 3 February 2014.

“The new import conditions increase the emphasis on offshore preventative measures that need to be applied to dogs and cats before they are imported,” Minister Joyce said.

“All dogs and cats imported to Australia, whether for the first time or returning, must meet Australia’s import conditions that are designed to safeguard Australia, including its pets and native fauna, from damaging exotic pests and diseases.”

If dog or cat owners have already started the import process, current import conditions apply.  

The Department of Agriculture has a key role in safeguarding Australia’s favourable animal health status and manages the government regulations to help prevent unwanted pests and disease from entering the country.

For more information about the cat and dog import conditions, visit http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs.

The report of the final policy review is available on the Department of Agriculture’s website daff.gov.au/dogs-cats-policy.