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All you need to know about the Mickleham quarantine facility in Australia

All pet dogs and cats entering Australia from category II and III countries are required by the Australian Government to spend a minimum of ten days in the Post Entry Quarantine (PEQ) at Melbourne. The length of the quarantine depends on the country your pet is travelling from and your pet's health status.

If you are planning to transport your pet to another city in Australia besides Melbourne, your pet will have a mandatory stopover at the quarantine facility. Here's all you should know about your pet dog or cat's stay.

Do all pets have to go to quarantine?

All dogs and cats have to spend a minimum of ten days at the PEQ in Melbourne when they enter Australia from category II and III countries, such Europe, United Kingdom, USA and UAE.

Pets arriving from New Zealand are not subject to a quarantine period because it is a rabies-free category I country. These pets can travel directly to one of the four major ports – Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Gold Coast, or Perth and immediately onto their new home.

Where is the Australian quarantine facility located?

Australia's government-operated post-entry quarantine centre is a state-of-the-art facility located in Mickleham in northern Melbourne, thirty minutes from the international airport. Spread over 144 hectares, the facility caters to plants, horses, birds and bees, in addition to cats and dogs.

The officers at the quarantine centre will assess your pet upon entry into Australia to ensure that he or she is healthy and is not carrying dangerous diseases or parasites. Australia has stringent biosecurity laws in place to maintain its rabies-free status and to protect the countries flora and fauna. It is essential for any pet dog or cat entering the country to fulfil all veterinary requirements and be free from diseases and external parasites.

As the post-entry quarantine centre is in Melbourne, all pets flying into Australia must land at Melbourne International Airport.

How do I book space at quarantine for my pet?

Only pets that have fulfilled all import requirements are allowed entry into Australia. You can book space at quarantine only after your pet has received an import permit from the department of agriculture. Once the application is processed, the quarantine facility will send you a notification of the steps to follow and the time-frames for the same.

You will need to pay the applicable quarantine fees to complete the booking process. This is an important step in the process because only pets with a confirmed quarantine booking will be allowed to board the aircraft to Australia.

What are the facilities available at the quarantine centre?

The quarantine facility is a modern centre with state-of-the-art pet pens. Each animal will is housed in large, individual enclosures. If you are bringing in more than one pet, quarantine officers will try and accommodate pets from the same family in adjacent pens. The centre has around 400 climate-controlled pens for dogs, each with an attached outdoor area and underfloor heating. There are 240 cat pens in the facility.

The dog run has access to exercise yards and the veterinary examination rooms. If a threat of biosecurity risk is detected, the pet is moved to a special isolation suite, away from the other animals in quarantine.

What are the arrival and release protocols at Mickleham?

Once your pet arrives at the Melbourne International Airport, quarantine officers will collect them and bring them to the quarantine facility for further assessment. Pet collection hours are between 4.30 and 16.30 hours on weekdays. If your flight lands in Melbourne outside these hours, additional charges will be levied.

When your pet's quarantine requirements are fulfilled, the pet parent or the nominated pet transport agency can collect them and their crate from the PEQ facility in Mickleham at a scheduled release appointment time.

Pet collection hours are between 10.00 and 12.00 hours for the general public and registered animal transport companies can collect pets outside of these hours. Please note your pet cannot stay longer than their release date at PEQ. If you cannot collect your pet from the facility for any reason, it is recommended to enlist the services of a pet transport company to collect your pet on your behalf, and transport them to a boarding facility, or lodge them for their onwards flight.

Can I send my pet's favourite blanket and toys to Mickleham?

The quarantine centre provides bedding for cats and dogs to suit their breed and age. Do not send any toys or bedding to the facility; the centre destroys all bedding, toys and comfort items that arrive with your pet. They are considered a biosecurity risk and will be destroyed as soon as the pet enters the quarantine facility.

What will my pet be fed at Mickleham?

Pet dogs and cats are fed high-quality commercial dry food once a day at the PEQ centre. You can furnish a letter of recommendation from your vet if your pet needs to be fed more than once a day, and the officers at the centre will comply.

If your dog or cat is on a special diet, you will need to submit a veterinary form outlining the need for the special diet when you apply for the import permit. If the request is approved, you will need to source the food in Australia and send it to the PEQ facility. It is important to note that the food has to be sourced in Australia; quarantine destroys any pet food that accompanies your pet during import for biosecurity reasons.

Your pet will be exercised regularly at the PEQ facility. All pets will be bathed and groomed for biosecurity and hygiene reasons at the centre. If your pet requires additional grooming, you can make a special request.

Can I visit my pet at Mickleham?

Pet import in Australia is complex but well-defined. If your pet satisfies all pet import requirements, the quarantine period is generally ten days. During these ten days, quarantine officers examine your pet and assess them for any biosecurity threats. Pet parents are not allowed to visit their pets at the facility at this time.

Will my pet have access to veterinary care at the quarantine centre?

The quarantine centre at Mickleham has veterinary doctors to monitor and assess your pet's health for exotic diseases and other biosecurity concerns during their stay at the facility. If the vets at the facility recommend treatment or further assessment for your pet, a private, non-departmental vet will be called in for a consult. Officers from the PEQ centre will contact you or your nominated pet transport agency before providing your pet with the necessary veterinary care. These veterinary fees are not included in the quarantine costs, and the pet parent will be charged separately.

What are the quarantine fees at PEQ, Mickleham?

Quarantine fee for ten days is approximately AUD 2000 per pet. If your pet has to stay on for longer or if he or she needs extra veterinary care or other services, additional charges apply.

How do I contact the quarantine centre?

You can contact the Australian quarantine centre by phone, fax or email.

Phone: 1800 900 090 or +61 3 8318 6700 (outside Australia)

Fax: +61 3 9391 0860

Email: PEQservices@agriculture.gov.au

Hours: Monday – Friday 8:00 – 16:00 hours

Weekends and Australian public holidays: closed

Travelling to Australia?

Travelling to Australia with your pet is a complicated process because of Australia's biosecurity laws. If you want to transport your pet to Australia from a different country, it is recommended to use the services of a pet transport agency to assist with the move. Get in touch with our team at Petraveller for more information on quarantine in Australia and other details about pet relocation to Australia.