Owning pets

​​​​​​​People have kept a wide variety of animals as pets for companionship and for produce for as long as we have had recorded language.

Keeping a pet has been shown to significantly improve an individual’s quality of life, however, it is important to understand the biosecurity implications of keeping pets, even one as common as a dog.

Your pet’s health, where you live, and the places you travel with your pet, all have the potential to cause serious biosecurity incidents, and you need to know what your responsibilities are as a pet owner in Australia.

Know if your pet is welcome in Australia

If you or a relative are moving to Australia, it is possible to import some pets. However, there are strict conditions in place that need to be observed to manage biosecurity risks to Australia.

Cats and dogs are the most common pets that people import to Australia. The import conditions applicable to your cat or dog. If you’re coming over from New Zealand or Norfolk Island you will not need an import permit for your cat or dog, but conditions still apply.

Know if your mate is welcome interstate

Moving interstate can be a hassle at the best of times and not everyone realises that there are biosecurity rules in place for moving between states, particularly in regards to restrictions on the types of pets people can keep.

Restrictions are managed state by state, so it is important to check before transporting your animals over the border or other quarantine zones. Rabbits, cats and bees are all examples of animals that have some interstate restrictions and, while this doesn’t apply to all states, it is important to check if there are any restrictions before you move.

You can find out what these restrictions are by downloading a copy of Australian Interstate Quarantine: A traveller’s guide, phoning 1800 084 881 during business hours from Monday to Friday, or by visiting the ​Australian Interstate Quarantine website.

Take your pet to the vet

Pets play an important role in people’s lives. There are fantastic veterinarians in Australia to make sure that your family pet is well looked after and kept safe from pest and disease threats.

Vets are involved at all levels of Australia’s biosecurity system. They play an important role in the event our quarantine or biosecurity protections are breached to help contain and manage a potentially serious disease.

​Report a biosecurity concern


​​​ ​Related websites

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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