By Stacey Pallaras
For busy expats wanting to take back their four-legged Solomons friends (cats or dogs, no pigs!) to Australia here’s a quick run down on how to do it. There have been a lot of changes recently making it much easier and more streamlined.
1. Decide on your date of export. Everything rests on this and until you are sure – at least to the week – you may well be wasting your money as blood tests must be taken within 30 days of arrival in Australia.
2. Ensure your pets vaccinations are up to date and if not already done, get them pet micro-chipped by the Vet Dr Badley Anita, in China Town. It may be easier to email him at: email@example.com The micro-chip should be implanted at least 42 days before export.
3. If you are busy, Dr Badley Anita will take care of all paperwork and arrangements for you. Discuss with him otherwise read on. Decide on what date you need to present your pet to Dr Anita for blood tests, within 30 days of due arrival in Australia.
4. Apply and pay for the Import Permit on-line, $85. You’ll be asked for microchip number, whether the animal is pregnant, date of arrival and where you’ll be sending your pet for (10 days) quarantine. You’ll also be asked to name the importer and the exporter and the authorities will only talk to the importer once the animal arrives. You can make yourself both the importer and exporter, naming a second person as the importer. You’ll receive your import permit after around 11 days, but allow up to 20 days in case they get busy! You’ll need this permit number to book quarantine and flights.
5. Book your pet into your preferred quarantine facility at either Spotswood Victoria (a smaller facility harder to get into so book early. Eventually this facility will close), or Eastern Creek, NSW. You can email them at PEQservices@agriculture.gov.au Quarantine is for 10 days and although you cannot visit your best friend, you can arrange to have authorised dog walkers and carers visit quarantine to play with your little mate and report to you through uploaded photos, on how they are doing. Quarantine will provide you with a couple of recommended contacts. We used:
6. Book Flights. Make sure you have a crate that has no possibility of coming apart or injuring your pet and has a water container for your friend. Some people build them, others return to Australia to buy them and bring them back. You need to provide the dimensions and photos of the crate to Mr Napthalae Abana at Cargo for Solomon Airlines on 36048. He’s the same person who will organise your pet’s flight. Check everything! As there is a possibility flights to Brisbane arriving after office hours, you should be prepared to pay quarantine to receive your pet after office hours and to transfer them to the next flight into quarantine. If your pet is due to be released on a weekend, it will also cost you more in overtime fees to quarantine.
7. Ensure you prepare your pet according to Dr Anita’s written instructions for medication bathing in solution to ensure eradication of topical and internal parasites. If your friend is found to carry parasites, their stay in quarantine could at least be extended.By this stage your dog or cat should also have taken blood tests and the results returned to you via Dr Anita. All paperwork should accompany your pet and this will be taken care of by Mr Abana when you hand over your documents. Keep and carry copies of all your documents with you! Should you pet require kennelling in Australia, these documents provide a record that their vaccinations are up to date etc.
8. Take your little friend to Cargo at Henderson and hand him over to Mr Abana and give a calm hug goodbye (to your little mate, not Mr Abana) until you meet up again in Oz.
Please note: Detailed information of the process and every step, including forms can be accessed from the Department of Fisheries and Forestry.
Below are the Honiara Veterinary Clinic & Surgery price lists for cat and dog export to Australia/ New Zealand.