01-2021: Cat and Dog imports to Australia – PEQ reservation waiting periods

6 January 2021

Who does this notice affect?

This notice is for all airlines, freight forwarders, pet transport companies and importers of cats and dogs to Australia.

What has changed?

While COVID-19 restrictions have been eased in Victoria, the impact of COVID-19 is continuing to effect wait times for cat and dog reservations at the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) facility in Mickleham. Since May 2020, animals have continued to arrive at Melbourne International Airport, been collected by the department and taken to the PEQ without issue. 

The current COVID-19 pandemic does not change the existing risks posed by diseases of biosecurity concern to Australia or the need for cats and dogs to meet the import permit conditions in full. This includes the requirement for cats and dogs to arrive directly into Melbourne International Airport, excluding dogs and cats exported from New Zealand, or dogs holding an assistance dog permit. The department may consider re-exporting or euthanising animals that do not fulfill this requirement.

Companion animals can only be imported into Australia under strict conditions designed to manage biosecurity risks and must undergo a minimum 10-day quarantine period at the PEQ at Mickleham. This state-of-the-art facility is designed to manage biosecurity risks associated with the import of companion animals and ensure the welfare of these animals.

PEBS cat and dog reservations - 2021

The PEQ is continuing to process a high number of bookings from owners wanting to bring their pets’ home to Australia. The PEQ is facilitating the import of pets, while managing the health of staff, the welfare of the animals in our care, and adhering to the COVID-19 restrictions imposed by the Victorian Government.

The department is continuing to work closely with international airlines and pet transport agents and has accepted direct charter flights of large volume cat and dog imports. Several charter flights have been confirmed to arrive in 2021 which has an impact on PEQ reservations.

The PEQ is aware of the current situation that pet agents and importers are experiencing in relation to reservation waiting periods. We ask for your patience and cooperation at this time as we are working towards finding suitable solutions that satisfy the government, industry stakeholders, importers and exporting countries whilst maintaining the required level of biosecurity services and animal welfare at the PEQ.

Pet owners and agents are advised to make flight arrangements and PEQ reservations as soon as their import permit is approved.

Pet owners and agents must secure an airline booking into Melbourne Airport and are advised to confirm both the flight arrival date and the PEQ reservation date to receive their animal before being exported to Australia. Please email PEQservices@awe.gov.au if you wish to amend a PEQ reservation due to flight disruptions.

Pet owners and agents are advised to check state or territory government websites for interstate travel movement restrictions prior to collecting their animals from the PEQ or to engage the services of pet transport companies to collect or fly their animal’s interstate.

Further information

Importers are encouraged to check our website regularly or subscribe to our mailing list for up to date information.

Contact information

If you require further information, please call 1800 900 090 or email PEQservices@awe.gov.au.

Last reviewed: 6 January 2021
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