​Media Release

Dogs returned to country of origin

15 May 2015

Two dogs that were brought into Australia without meeting our import requirements have now been exported back to their country of origin.

A Department of Agriculture officer has escorted the two dogs from the property in Queensland, where they had been held under quarantine order, to the airport for their flight home.

The department issued the necessary export documentation and correspondence to the relevant veterinary authority to facilitate the repatriation of the dogs. All costs associated with returning the dogs were met by the owners.

Despite the hype and sensation s​urrounding the dogs’ owners, Australia has strict biosecurity requirements for good reasons—to protect Australia from exotic pests and diseases that can seriously harm humans, animals and our economy.

This situation has highlighted that most Australians understand the importance of biosecurity and that all animals entering Australia must have an import permit, which is only issued after confirmation that pre-export requirements have been met.

Dogs imported to Australia must be accompanied by a valid import permit, and have undergone relevant testing and health checks signed off by a government veterinarian from the exporting country to ensure pests and diseases from overseas are not brought here.

Dogs can potentially carry a range of diseases including rabies, ehrlichia, leishmania and leptospirosis. These diseases are not present in Australia and some can seriously affect people.

With regard to accusations that this is a failing of our biosecurity system, it is in fact evidence that the system is working given the dogs were discovered, placed under a quarantine order and now successfully exported.

I would like to thank the dogs' owners and their associates for their cooperation and compliance with the department’s quarantine directives.