Locum pets require almost as much planning as locum doctors

April 21st, 2010 | Comments POSTED BY: Sandy Sandberg FILED UNDER:

Checklist for international assignment for Dr. Jennifer R., emergency medicine:

Registration—check; visa—check; credential packet—check; travel arrangements—check; husband’s travel arrangements—check; travel arrangements for two 90-pound Akitas—uh, check.

International assignments generally last about a year, so it’s not unusual for a locum doctor to ask about taking a beloved pet along on the adventure. VISTA just placed the emergency medicine physician featured above in a 12-month position in New Zealand, spouse, dogs, and all. I thought this would be a good time to share a little information about taking your furry pals along on an international locum tenens assignment.

 What are the quarantine rules for pets in AU, NZ, BM? 

 AU: Cost- $1500 - $3500 depending on breed

  • Residency: Cats and dogs must have been continuously living in the country of export for a minimum of six months immediately prior to export.
  • Age: Cats and dogs must be at least six months old at the time of export.
  • Pregnancy: Cats and dogs must not be more than three weeks pregnant nor be suckling young at the time of export. Pregnant animals must meet the minimum 30-day quarantine requirement in Australia.
  • Breeds: Certain breeds of dogs and cats are prohibited. The types that are prohibited can be found on the AQIS website.  
  • Microchip: Cats and dogs must be identified by a microchip that can be read by an Avidâ, Trovanâ, Destronâ or other ISO-compatible reader. The microchip must be implanted before any testing takes place.
  • Locate an Official Government Approved Veterinarian: A government approved veterinarian will prepare the animal for export to Australia and complete Veterinary Certificate A of the AQIS import permit.
  • Vaccinations:
    • Every cat and dog must be vaccinated against rabies with an approved inactivated rabies virus vaccine within the 12 months prior to export and when the animal is at least three months old.
    • Dogs must be vaccinated against distemper, infectious hepatitis, canine parvovirus (parvo), para-influenza and Bordetella bronchiseptica (kennel cough). Within one year and 14 days prior to export.
    • Cats must be vaccinated against feline enteritis (also known as feline panleucopenia or feline distemper), rhinotracheitis and calicivirus. Within one year and 14 days prior to export.
    • Within 30 days prior to export, dogs must also be tested for Ehrlichiosis, External Parasites, Brucellosis, Leptospirosis and Leishmaniosis.
    • Within four days prior to export, dogs and cats must be treated for internal and external parasites and also have a complete Veterinary Certificate A Including Pre-Export Inspection.
  • AQIS Quarantine Permit: Apply for one online after receiving a RNATT lab report from a veterinarian and pay fees. Animals must be held in quarantine in one of three sites for a minimum of 30 days when arriving in AU.
  • Book Tentative Quarantine Accommodations: After receiving a quarantine permit, you must book accommodations at one of the accommodation sites listed on the AQIS website.
  • Travel Arrangements: Animals can only arrive at one of three airports listed on the AQIS website and must travel as “Manifested Cargo” (not in the cabin) and in an (IATA) approved container (crate) for cats and dogs.
  • Day of departure: The following must be completed by the approved veterinarian: Microchip scan, completion of Veterinary Certificate B, and sealing the animal in the shipping container (crate).

 NZ= Cost - $1500 -$3500 depending on breed

  • All animals have to come through Auckland International Airport and most are subject to quarantine (minimum of 30 days) depending on which country they are from.
  • They must have typically spent at least six months in their departure country, and will require full vaccinations and a subcutaneous identity chip.
  • Animals must be more than nine months old at departure.
  • Pets from most countries will also require a rabies lab test at least three weeks after vaccination.
  • The rabies lab test results, which identifies the animal by its identity chip number, must be at least six months old before the animal will be eligible for importation.
  • Vaccination requirements for dogs: Rabies (Except UK and Australia), Distemper, Hepatitis, Adenovirus 2, Parainfluenza, Bordatella, Leptospirosis, Parvovirus.
  • Vaccination requirements for cats: Rabies (Except UK and Australia), Panleukopnia, Rhinotrachetis, Calicivirus.
  • Animal completes tests and treatments specified in Veterinary Certificate A within 30 days of scheduled departure date, including a second neutralizing antibody titration test for rabies.
  • Pets must be transported in an International Air Transport Association (IATA) approved container.
  • MAF Biosecurity New Zealand must be provided with the flight/ship number and arrival time of any animal at least 72 hours before expected arrival.

 Bermuda= $1000 -$2000 depending on breed

  • All animals arriving in Bermuda must be accompanied by an Import Permit that was issued in advance by the Department of Environmental Protection, together with an original health certificate issued by a licensed veterinarian of the country from which the animal is coming to Bermuda .
  • The health certificate and veterinary statements must be issued within 10 days before the animal’s arrival in Bermuda, must be dated, must show the name, address and phone number of the veterinary facility, and must be signed by a licensed veterinarian.
  • The animal must be implanted with a microchip that may be read by a standard microchip reader, i.e. ISO, FECAVA, European/International or AVID-USA chip.
  • Owner must submit a veterinary health certificate issued within 10 days before your arrival in Bermuda, stating that the animal is not infected with any communicable disease and is free of external parasites.
  • Owner must submit a veterinary statement that the animal has been treated on the day of examination with an acaricidal preparation (named), which is known to have residual activity against ticks, e.g., flea and tick spray, powder, dip.
  • Owner must submit a veterinary statement that, as best as can be ascertained by your knowledge and through questioning, the animal has not been exposed to rabies nor been present in an officially quarantined rabies area within the last six months.
  • Owner must submit rabies vaccination history, showing at least two rabies vaccinations, and that all rabies vaccinations have been given by a licensed veterinarian, and are in accord with all of these requirements. The animal:
    • Upon attaining / after the age of three months, has received a rabies vaccination; AND
    • Received a second rabies vaccine six to12 months following the first rabies vaccination; AND
    • There have been no significant lapses in vaccinations; AND
    • The most recent vaccination was given at least 30 days, and not more than 12 months prior to arrival in Bermuda.
  • Veterinarians may only attest to vaccinations given by him/herself, given under his/her direct supervision, and prior vaccinations that are accompanied with original certificates. Veterinarians cannot attest to vaccines given by non-veterinarians, including owners or breeders.
  • Within 10 days of your arrival into Bermuda, visit your veterinarian to obtain a microchip, health certificate, and the veterinary statements.

 For help in coordinating your pet’s locum tenens adventure, contact a local pet transportation/relocation company such as Pet Transport Link.