Importing Live Animals into Oz.

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by BlacKnox, Mar 12, 2006.

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  1. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    I've got 2 cats (Momo & Taro) and am familiar with all the importation requirements (Import certificate, microchips etc etc).

    Anyone any experience or comments (and no, not the smuggling budgie kind :D )?

    And what part of the aircraft do they travel in :?: I presume it's not the main cargo hull as they'd freeze to death. Is there a seperate section in the belly :?:

    I'm considering either JAL or Qantas at this time considering their direct routes (roughly same money). Am I missing something or someone :?:

    I love my cats a lot so please temper any humour :oops: .

  2. shillard

    shillard Guest

    Depends on the airline, from my limited understanding they generally travel in a heated section of the hold. Some airlines will permit live animals in the cabin (not just air India, but US operators as well) provided they are appropriately contained. Samsonite actually makes a cat carrier designed to slip under the seat in front of you.

    Good luck.
  3. robertz

    robertz Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Atlanta, GA, US
    We brought our cats from Australia to US about 2 years ago. That time we organised everything through our local vet and everything went according to plan. They went from Gold Coast to BNE via car, BNE-SYD-LAX (QF) spent the night, then LAX-DEN-ATL (UA) the next day. Picked them up from UA Cargo, and they were happy to see us. (Should have signed them up for the AA Challenge. They could have made Plat with this trip!!)

    Coming home in 6 months time will be a different story. From research, if we do the same thing through a local vet here, it will cost us a fortune.

    If your got a handle on the AQIS importation stuff and all is in place with import permits , vaccinations, and bits, then your pretty much there with getting your felines home.

    They do travel in an area of the cargo hold that is pressurized. They usually travel on a Air Waybill cargo manifest with handling instructions of 'Live Animals' So they know where to put them, in the cargo.

    As long as they DON'T sedate them, they will be fine. DO NOT let any vet tell you its best to sedate them. If they are sedated they cannot regulate their body temperature and this will hurt them traveling. The other problem is the sedation will not last for the whole trip so they will wake up 1/2 way through and be more terrified of the situation rather than building up a tolerance.

    Not sure how the Rabies thing works for Japan, but for me, the whole amount of quarantine in Australia, depends on the 150 / 180 day rule. For every day after 150 days from the test, means an extra day in quarantine in Australia.
    All cats have at least 30 days quarantine in Australia. Not sure what extends this for cats from Japan.

    As shillard suggested some airlines allow you to carry on small dogs and cats into the cabin, but for pet importation into Australia, they have to be manifested and go in the cargo hold. :(

    That's about it for now. Good luck with it all.
    Im a bit worried that my cats have developed a bit of an southern American drawl, and they will be made fun of, by the other cats in the neighborhood , when we return.

  4. CO BNE

    CO BNE Junior Member

    Feb 20, 2005
    Great information from robertz and only adding based on the experience my wife and I had importing her dog from the US.

    The amount of time in quarantine for a cat/dog from Japan is a Category 2, so only 30 days.

    Our dog travelled on the same flight as us, QF12 in the hold [Had to book and pay for passage with Qantas Freight].

    From memory, they would only accept the animal no more than 4 hours prior to flight departure. We were informed that there would be a carer on board the flight checking on the animals from time to time so that helped with the stress levels of my wife.

    However as robertz mentioned, do not sedate your pet. Instead place into the cage clothing articles with your scent or a favourite toy that would keep them happy.

    AQIS in Sydney is a fantastic facility. Large and easy to find your way to. Visitation hours were twice a week on Tuesday and Thursday. The cat enclosures have a nice roof-top area where they can climb up to and see the outside world. Lots of "meowing" going on whenever we walked past as they sought attention. Dog facilities equally as good, each dog is allocated 2 kennels so they alternate as to which side of the building they're on and they can bark their head off at the dogs across from them in the other building.

    Can't comment on JAL, but i'm sure their attention to detail in caring for your animal would be just as good if not better than Qantas.
  5. BlacKnox

    BlacKnox Active Member

    Jan 29, 2005
    shillard, robertz & CO BNE - thank you :!: Your tips & suggestions are heartily appreciated, in what is a very stressful exercise.

    Well, I've got all the AQIS stuff under control, so no problems there. shillard JAL allows pets to accompany pax in the cabin until 31/03/06, yet as robertz mentioned (for Australia) they have to go into the cargo hull :( .

    Advice re: sedation is good. I won't allow the vet to do, though I'm lucky our vet here is great, and I'd doubt he'd suggest sedation anyway.

    And I'm really happy to hear that AQIS Sydney is a great facility :D . A month in a cage is stressful for all, yet I'm glad to hear I can visit :wink: .
  6. robertz

    robertz Member

    Sep 15, 2005
    Atlanta, GA, US
    Can be tricky. Some vets from the old school still think its OK. Im pretty sure they sedated one of our cats from LAX to ATL, because he was not normal when he arrived. The other one was fine.
    This is of course in a country where at the local vet they have a sign saying "Cat scratching your furniture? Ask about declawing today". Makes me so angry every time I see it.

    Oh, also watch the cat toys with cat nip inside. This could cause a problem. ;)


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