23 December 2021
Who does this notice affect?
This notice is for all pet transport companies and importers of dogs to Australia.
What has changed?
Ehrlichiosis is a disease that affects dogs and is caused by a bacteria called Ehrlichia canis (E. canis). The disease is spread through infected ticks. The brown dog tick, which is present in Australia, is the main carrier of the disease.
E. canis was first detected in Australia in 2020 in the north of Western Australia. Following the detection, a national surveillance program began to determine the extent of E. canis spread in Australia.
To-date, import conditions for dogs entering Australia require the dog to be tested and found negative for E. canis by the immunofluorescence antibody test (IFAT). While consideration is being given to a national strategy for E. canis, the Department of Agriculture, Water and the Environment will assess applications to vary import permits for dogs that cannot comply with the conditions of their import permit due to a positive result for E. canis by the IFAT.
If you hold a currently valid import permit, you may submit an application to vary your import permit via BICON. You must include evidence of your dog’s laboratory test results, evidence of any treatments undertaken and information from your preparing veterinarian about the clinical health of your dog.
If you do not hold an import permit, you must apply for an import permit and submit the above information in relation to E. canis along with all other information required by the relevant import permit application.
Each application is assessed independently, and decisions are made based on the associated biosecurity risks. You can find more general information in our Industry Advice Notice 24-2021 Permits to import cats and dogs to Australia.
Movement conditions may apply once dogs are released from biosecurity control. Further information about jurisdictional conditions can be found on the National pest and disease outbreaks website under Ehrlichiosis in dogs.