Hi All, not done many articles on the pets front for a while however thought these new regulations would definitely be worth a mention. From the 1st Jan 2012 new regulations come into effect regarding cats and dogs entering Australia.

From the AQIS Website

From 1 January 2012, cats and dogs from the UK, Malta, Republic of Ireland, and Sweden will be required to have a rabies vaccination and rabies titre test prior to entry into Australia.
From the info pack: HERE

Rabies Neutralising Antibody Titre Test (RNATT)

Time frame: Between 60 days and 12 months prior to export.
For pregnant animals: between 150 days and 12 months prior to export.

If the animal has never been previously rabies vaccinated AQIS recommends that at least four (4) weeks elapse between the rabies vaccination and blood sampling. This will enable the animal to produce sufficient antibodies to record a positive test result.

The date of blood sampling for the RNATT will determine the amount of time the animal must stay in Australian quarantine.

One hundred and eighty (180) days must elapse from the date that the blood is sampled for the RNAT test (with a satisfactory result) before the animal can be released from quarantine in Australia.

Cats and dogs must remain in the country of export for at least 60 days from the date of blood sampling for the RNATT, prior to arrival in Australia.

Cats and dogs must be held in Australian quarantine for a minimum of 30 days.

The remaining 90 days must be spent in the country of export or added to the Australian quarantine period.

The table below shows examples of how the 180-day requirement may be met:

Time from RNATT blood sampling
date, prior to arrival in Australia

Minimum
quarantine period
in Australia

Total time from
RNATT blood
sampling date

150 days or more

30 days

180 days

135 days

45 days

120 days

60 days

90 days

90 days

60 days

120 days

Arrange for a Government Approved Veterinarian to scan the animal’s microchip and collect a blood sample for the RNATT. Ensure the animal’s microchip number, as scanned, is written on the blood tube and on the laboratory submission form. The blood sample must be drawn within an AQIS approved country.

The microchip number and blood sampling date must be consistent between the RNATT laboratory report and RNATT declaration before an AQIS import permit can be granted.

A government approved laboratory must carry out testing. The testing laboratory must be within an AQIS approved country. The laboratory report must include the animal’s microchip number, the blood sampling date and a result of greater than or equal to 0.5 IU/ml. If a result of less than 0.5 IU/ml is obtained you must re-vaccinate the cat or dog and repeat the process.

AQIS recognises the RNATT result for a period of 12 months from the date of blood sampling. AQIS advises retesting prior to expiry of the RNATT. The animal must have a valid RNATT at the time of export.

If your animal has had previous RNAT testing and rabies vaccinations, please forward copies of this documentation to AQIS with your import permit application.

So What does all this mean for those looking to take the pet dog or cat to Australia?

My understanding of this is that your cat or dog will need vaccinating within 12 months of the flight date and at least 60 days before the flight.

They will also need the rabies blood sample at least 5 months prior to travel. It can be less than 5 months, however, your pet will have to spend longer in Australian quarantine. Cats and dogs are allowed out of quarantine 180 days after the date of the rabies blood sample or 30 days after they land, whichever is the greater.

I hope this doesn’t affect too many of you that much!