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Export of Dogs and Cats to Australia

This page is part of the Guidance Document Repository (GDR).

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New Australian conditions for dogs and cats

Australia has implemented new import conditions and export certificates for dogs and cats. These changes will be applied to all new import permits that are issued as of March 1, 2023, meaning Australia's new import conditions must be met and the new export certificates must be used. Exporters who already have an import permit from Australia that was issued before March 1, 2023 will be contacted directly by the Australian authorities with instructions on how to proceed.

If you have questions about the new conditions or how your specific situation may be impacted, please refer to Australia's Industry Advice Notice for assistance.

Australia's dog and cat import conditions are amongst the most stringent in the world. All the required information for exporting dogs and cats to Australia is available on the Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Australia's website.

Close attention must be paid to all aspects of the application process, including the timelines, fees, vaccination, testing, certification and quarantine conditions that are applicable to your particular situation. If any part of the documentation is deemed unsatisfactory by Australian officials, there is a risk of the following: extra disease testing, an extended quarantine stay, declined entry of the animal into the country, or destruction of the animal – all at the expense of the owner.

An import permit for bringing dogs and cats to Australia must be obtained prior to entry into the country.

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency's (CFIA's) webpage does not include an exhaustive description of all the conditions for exporting dogs and cats to Australia. As such, the information included on this webpage must be read in conjunction with the import permit and the relevant step-by-step guide available on Australia's website.

For travellers who have obtained an import permit for a dog or cat prior to March 1, 2023

Travellers who have obtained an import permit for their dog or cat from the Australian authorities prior to March 1, 2023 would have been contacted directly by the Australian competent authority with instructions on how to proceed.

Do not use the Veterinary Export Health Certificate (Appendix 1) that is found on the last page of the import permit. Instead, use the following Veterinary Health Certificates:

For travellers obtaining an import permit for a dog or cat on or after March 1, 2023

Australia has implemented new import conditions and export certificates for dogs and cats travelling to Australia. Please contact your local CFIA Animal Health Office prior to beginning the process of preparing to export a dog or cat to Australia.

All the required information for exporting dogs and cats to Australia is available on Australia's website.

Microchip identification and identity verification

All dogs and cats travelling to Australia must be identified with an International Organization for Standardization (ISO) compatible microchip.

Australia has implemented an optional Identification Declaration, whereby a CFIA official must verify the animals microchip identification, complete the appropriate certificate and communicate this to the Australian authorities. If this certificate is completed, the dog or cat will be eligible for a shortened post-entry quarantine stay upon arrival in Australia.

Note: this process must be completed prior to Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) blood collection.

Please contact your local CFIA Animal Health Office to discuss this option and book any necessary appointments.

If the optional Identification Declaration is not completed, dogs and cats will still be eligible to enter Australia, however the minimum post-entry quarantine duration will be longer.

Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT)

After the validity of the rabies vaccination has been confirmed or the vaccine has been updated as required, a Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) must be completed. After a satisfactory RNATT result is obtained, the Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) Declaration must be completed at your local CFIA Animal Health Office.

The RNATT laboratory report must include the blood sampling date and location (that is, the name of the licensed veterinarian who collected the blood sample and the address of the veterinary clinic where the blood sample was collected) in order for Australia to consider the report valid.

Contact your local CFIA Animal Health Office to discuss this step and to book any necessary appointments.

The original RNATT laboratory report and rabies vaccination certificate must be brought to the CFIA office at the time of the appointment. A complete rabies vaccination history may also be requested at this time.

Note: if you choose to complete the optional Identification Declaration, that process must be completed prior to RNATT blood collection.

Canine influenza virus vaccination or testing

Dogs exported from Canada to Australia must either be vaccinated against canine influenza virus or meet additional conditions in order to be eligible for entry into Australia.

If the dog is not vaccinated against canine influenza virus, it must be:

  • isolated from other dogs, with no direct contact with other dogs (unless those dogs are part of the same export shipment) for the 10 days immediately preceding the date of export to Australia; and the owner or exporter will be required to sign the appropriate declaration form attached to the Veterinary Health Certificate
  • tested with a negative result for canine influenza virus by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on a nasal or deep pharyngeal swab collected within the 7 days prior to export; and
  • examined within 48 hours of export and found to be free from clinical signs of infectious or contagious disease

Dogs that are first exported to the United States prior to export to Australia must be vaccinated against canine influenza virus and their Veterinary Health Certificate must be completed in the United States (the country of export).

Veterinary Health Certificate

Veterinary Health Certificates must be completed and signed by your licensed veterinarian (government-approved veterinarian). Following completion and signing by your licensed veterinarian, it must then be reviewed and endorsed by a CFIA Official Veterinarian.

Contact your local CFIA Animal Health Office to book any necessary appointments for CFIA review and endorsement. Please ensure that the completed and signed Veterinary Health Certificate, as well as a copy of all other supporting documents are brought to this appointment. This includes documents such as, the Australian issued import permit, Identification Declaration (if issued), Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT) Declaration, all laboratory test reports, all vaccination certificates, and all treatment/examinations records from the licensed veterinarian.

Do not use the Veterinary Export Health Certificate (Appendix 1) that is found on the last page of the import permit. Instead, use the following Veterinary Health Certificates:

Important information for all travellers taking a dog or cat to Australia

Listed below are 10, simple but critical, things that veterinarians and exporters/owners should do, when preparing a dog or cat for export to Australia, that will help ensure the Australian import conditions are appropriately met.

This list must be read in conjunction with the import permit and the relevant step-by-step guide available on Australia's website.

  1. Scan and verify the animal's microchip every time it is tested, treated, vaccinated or examined prior to export.
  2. Accurately record the animal's microchip number on every document associated with the animal including any:
    1. treatment, vaccination and examination certificates
    2. laboratory submission forms which accompany samples for testing
  3. Only administer compliant external parasite treatments to animals being prepared for export and record the product name,  active ingredient(s) and dose rate on the health certificate.
    1. A list of compliant external parasite treatments can be found on Australia's website.
    2. External parasite treatments must be topical (not oral) and kill ticks and fleas on contact.
    3. Bravecto® (fluralaner), NexGard® (afoxolaner), Advantage Multi® (moxidectin) and Revolution® (selamectin) are not compliant external parasite treatments.
  4. Re-administer external parasite treatments in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements so that coverage is continuous until export – if the product needs to be applied monthly, it must be applied no later than the 31st day from last application. Some products require re-application more than once monthly in order to provide continuous coverage.
  5. Administer internal parasite treatments that are effective against both nematodes (roundworms) and cestodes (tapeworms). A list of compliant internal parasite treatments can be found on Australia's website.
  6. Administer any vaccines required by the import conditions strictly in accordance with the manufacturer's requirements, including the primary course and any boosters. Record the vaccination date, vaccine name, batch number, expiry date and date next booster due on the health certificate. If there are any lapses in vaccination history, a new primary vaccine series may be required.
  7. Fully complete any laboratory submission form including the animal's microchip number, date of sampling, date of signature and request the correct laboratory test type(s).
  8. Verify that the animal's microchip number is correct on any laboratory report received and that all laboratory reports include the date of sampling, laboratory test type, test results, and interpretation of results.
  9. Provide the original laboratory reports to the exporter.
  10. Ensure that only animals that are fit to travel to Australia and fit to undergo post-entry quarantine are prepared for export to Australia.

Please note that a CFIA Official Veterinarian must endorse (sign, date and stamp) all pages of the Veterinary Health Certificate. Additionally, all laboratory reports that accompany dogs and cats bound for Australia need to be signed, dated and stamped by the CFIA's veterinarian who endorses the Veterinary Health Certificate, as indicated by the Australian import permit. Please ensure that all required documents, such as laboratory reports and certificates, are brought to the CFIA for review and endorsement.

Please note that Australia may change these import requirements without notification to the CFIA. As a result, it is strongly advised that the exporter should always confirm with the Australian Competent Authority before travelling and review the export certificate against the import permit to ensure that all requirements are addressed.

If you have any difficulties viewing the information contained on this website or if you have any questions about information on this page, please contact the CFIA Animal Health Office in your area.