​Important advice about microchips for importers of cats and dogs to Australia - 9 January 2017

What do you need to know?

Your animal must be identified by a microchip with a unique number that can be read by an Avid, Trovan, Destron or other ISO compatible reader.

Upon arrival in Australia, all cats and dogs are scanned and the microchip number is verified against the animal’s accompanying import documentation.

If your animal’s microchip is found to be not functional or the unique number not correctly recorded on import documentation, including laboratory reports, then your animal will be held in extended quarantine and in extreme cases the department may direct that it be exported or, even more rarely, euthanased.

What can you do to prevent this?

You can make sure that, at each veterinary visit for testing, treatment and examination, a Government Approved Veterinarian or Official Government Veterinarian scans your animal’s microchip, verifies the number and records that number accurately on all documentation including laboratory submission forms.

If at any veterinary visit your animal’s microchip cannot be read or if the unique number is incorrectly recorded on the animal’s import documentation, then the animal cannot be imported to Australia and you need to contact the Department of Agriculture and Water Resources for written advice.

In some cases, the entire import process will need to be restarted.

Why is the department telling you this?

From time to time dogs and cats arrive in Australia without a functional microchip or the scanned microchip number is different to the number on the import documentation.

Holding such animals in extended quarantine or directing them for export or euthanasia adds very significant expense and unnecessary emotional distress to importers, and their animals, and also reduces the number of vacancies available at the post-entry quarantine facility which in turn impacts other importers.

Please contact the Animal and Biological Import Assessments Branch​ for further information.

Last reviewed: 4 November 2019
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