Transporting pets
Source: (Creative Commons)

When considering moving to Australia you naturally want to take the family pet with you and the good news is that for cats and dogs and even horses this is entirely possible but unfortunately any other animal will not be considered for export unless coming from New Zealand, so sadly you may have to consider rehoming as an option for other family pets.

AQIS Pet Permit

Your first port of call when enquiring about pet relocation should be the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service, or AQIS. These are the people who will make the decision whether or not to grant your pet a permit to enter Australia. Certain conditions must be met by your pet:

– Each pet must be microchipped
– The animal must be more than 12 weeks old and have been resident in the UK for more than 6 months
– Females must not be more than 3 weeks pregnant or suckling young
– They should not have been bred from a non-domestic hybrid and for cats that includes the African wild cat.

The following dog breeds are not permitted to enter Australia:

– American Pit Bull or Pit Bull Terrier
– Japanese Tosa
– Fila Brazileiro
– Dogo Argentino
– Preso Canario or Perro de Presa

Be prepared to show any breeding and/or pedigree documents.

For horse import to Australia see the AQIS section on importing live horses.

Veterinary Certificates

Along with your AQIS application you will need to complete two veterinary certificates. One will need to be completed by a government approved officer in the UK and the other by a government approved vet who will need to take samples and prepare your pet for transport.

Once all the paperwork is complete you can apply for your AQIS permit but don’t apply too far in advance as the permit is only valid for 6 months from the issue date.

The cost of an AQIS Permit is around $325 (£219) for an online application for one animal, with each additional animal costing $165 (£111). Manual applications are more expensive.

Shipping Multiple Pets to Australia

The number of pets you can ship to Australia is largely dependent on the Australian council you will be relocating to but as a general rule of thumb, most Australian councils will only allow 2 of each animal to be exported. If you want to export any more pets to Australia then you will have to apply for a Multiple Pet Permit from the relevant council.


Once your pet arrives in Australia it will be quarantined for up to 30 days (from the UK) in stations located in Sydney, Melbourne or Perth. You would be advised to book your pet in as soon as you receive your permit as all three quarantine stations run at 100% occupancy. Currently the costs of a 30 day quarantine stay is around $800 (£540)

A note for cat owners: Many local Australian councils have strict laws governing cat ownership and some may require your cat to be kept indoors during the night to prevent damage to their fragile ecosystem.