Statement: Dogs illegally brought into Australia

​The Department of Agriculture is the Australian Government authority that manages animal imports to protect people’s health as well as animal and plant health.

The department confirms that it became aware of an illegal animal importation on Tuesday 12 May.

A biosecurity officer attended a Gold Coast property on 13 May and found two illegally imported dogs.

Any animal which is imported without meeting Australia’s import conditions will be ordered into quarantine and will either be exported or euthanased.

The dogs have been ordered into quarantine and the owners have been advised the dogs must be exported within 72 hours.

Import conditions for dogs being imported from the USA have been developed to protect Australia from a number of pests and diseases.

These include rabies, ehrlichia, leishmania, leptospirosis and internal and external parasites. These diseases are not present in Australia and some can affect people.

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.

Dogs must do a minimum 10 days in a government quarantine facility once arriving in Australia. This quarantine period is dependent on meeting Australia’s strict pre-import requirements, which vary by exporting country. This may be extended if the dog shows any signs of ill health or any other issues of biosecurity concern.

The Department of Agriculture is reviewing how the dogs were brought into Australia without an import permit.

Private jets are subject to the same strict biosecurity requirements as any other aircraft or vessel entering Australia.

The department is unable to comment on an individual’s imports or personal circumstances, regardless of whether that person is a public figure, and has no further comment to make about current investigations at this time.

For information on importing dogs, cats and other animals into Australia, please visit Bringing cats and dogs (and other pets) to Australia​​. ​

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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