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  • Writer's pictureElaine Green

Taking pets to highly regulated countries

You can take your pets to highly regulated countries but learn from Johnny Depp and Amber Heard’s catalogue of mistakes!

They didn’t follow Australia’s rules and regulations and blatantly disregarded the country’s strict procedures to enter with their pet dogs. The lack of documentation resulted in the pair being ordered to remove the dogs from the country or risk having them destroyed!

Strict import regulations don’t just apply to Australia.

The rules and regulations regarding import and export requirements when moving pets in and out of different countries is ever changing and can have a huge impact on families wanting to relocate quickly with their pets.

To bring your pet from Africa to a European Union country or the UK, requires a rabies blood test and a wait period after bloods are drawn of 3 months!

The U.S Department of Agriculture (USDA) saw a 52% increase in animal rabies cases because of unvaccinated pets arriving with forged documents from rabies prevalent countries. Therefore, the USA recently cracked down on importation of pets from over 100 high-risk rabies countries.

For example, relocating a dog from Malaysia to the USA requires a rabies blood test and vaccination, rabies, and health certificate as well as a special import permit that must be applied for a minimum of 6 weeks before entry. The permit also requires proof of all standard vaccinations and a microchip.

Returning to original country

Many pet relocation companies are more than willing to relocate client’s pets to a new country but neglect to inform them of the requirements of returning to their original country.

An example of an original country disruption was a client that relocated from South Africa for a 3-year work assignment in the USA. At the time of leaving South Africa the USA had no restrictions on dogs arriving in the country with the cost to transport their beloved dog very reasonable and little paperwork involved.

The dog simply travelled to the USA as extra luggage, the owners were able to collect their dog from the luggage area and avoided any customs brokers and freight fees.

However, the original pet relocation agent failed to inform my client that to return to South Africa the dog had to travel as manifest cargo, required 5 different blood tests (one of which was required to be done outside of the USA). Add on top that many US airlines are not transporting pets as manifest cargo and you have a perfect storm of a very difficult expensive pet trip on your hands.

Solving the problem

This is where Pet Relocation International were able to help. With many years of experience in the travel industry and a thorough and methodical approach to ensuring all paperwork for pet relocation is completed along with a schedule of blood tests and health requirement checks in place, we were able to not only find a flight but ensure that the family’s beloved dog was safely transported back to South Africa.

As a company of pet lovers. we know how import our pets are to us and as such treat every client’s pet relocation as if they are our own.

To speak to us about your pet relocation requirements,contact us at


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