2 September 2021
Who does this notice affect?
This notice is for cat and dog importers who use the Post Entry Quarantine facility in Australia.
What has changed?
Importers of cats and dogs to Australia can refer to the following frequently asked questions regarding veterinary care arrangements and management of their pets arriving to Australia for quarantine at the PEQ in Mickleham. The global COVID-19 pandemic and closure of international borders has seen pet imports increase and the staff at our PEQ facility have been working tirelessly to manage the welfare and biosecurity of animals so that pets can be reunited with their families in these uncertain times.
The information below is provided to assist with questions you may have.
Questions and Answers
1. When will I be notified that my pet has arrived at the PEQ for quarantine?
Biosecurity officers will notify you or your authorised agent by email within 24 hours of the animal’s arrival at the PEQ. All animals are checked, weighed and microchip scanned on arrival. Biosecurity officers are present every day of the week and are on call outside of normal business hours.
2. What happens when my cat or dog is unwell upon arrival?
When your pet arrives from overseas biosecurity officers collect them directly from Melbourne Airport and transport them to the PEQ. If your pet appears to be stressed or unwell upon arrival, biosecurity officers will attempt to contact you or your authorised agent as soon as possible to organise a private vet to attend the PEQ or to seek permission for biosecurity officers to transport the animal to the emergency veterinary hospital. If we cannot contact you or your authorised agent, we will arrange veterinary care without delay as our priority is your animal’s health and welfare.
3. What are the veterinary care arrangements for pets at the PEQ?
Australian Government vets are on duty during normal business hours and are on call 24 hours per day, 7 days a week at the PEQ, to ensure your pet’s welfare during their quarantine stay. The role of the government vets is to undertake Biosecurity Health Checks and examine animals for diseases of biosecurity concern. Government vets are responsible for administering treatments and medication in relation to biosecurity concerns. They will also provide assistance and recommendations on any animal welfare concerns.
In the event your pet requires further assessment or treatment which is not an emergency, the PEQ will contact you to organise a private veterinarian to attend the PEQ facility. Some clients prefer their own vet attends to their animal, however, there are local vets that regularly attend the facility to examine, treat, and prescribe medication as needed. If we cannot contact you or your authorised agent, the animal’s welfare remains our priority and in emergency circumstances we will arrange emergency veterinary care without delay.
4. What happens if my pet needs emergency veterinary medical attention?
If your pet requires emergency veterinary care, it will be immediately transported under biosecurity control to U-Vet Werribee Animal Hospital. U-Vet have approval with the department to hospitalise animals that are undergoing quarantine to provide emergency veterinary services, including testing, diagnostics, surgery, and euthanasia. Emergency and Critical Care vets at U-Vet will contact the person in charge directly to discuss all the diagnostic and treatment plans. Should it be necessary, the vet will discuss with the person in charge to make the humane decision to euthanise their pet at the hospital, not at the PEQ.
5. Why does the PEQ need permission to organise veterinary care?
It is important that the PEQ seeks permission from the import permit holder (also called the ‘person in charge of the animal’ such as an owner or authorised agent) as they are legally responsible for the importation of the cat or dog into Australia. The PEQ is required to seek permission to advise the person in charge that the cat or dog needs veterinary care and to explain the situation and potential costs involved.
For information about the PEQ, it is highly recommended that you source it directly from the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment website
If you have any queries or concerns, please call 1800 900 090 or email PEQservices@awe.gov.au.