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What is the significance of biosecurity on international pet travel?

International pet travel is complicated because of the number of rules and regulations that contribute to the process. Every country has a unique set of rules that stem from its biosecurity laws.

Countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Singapore have strict biosecurity laws to safeguard the native flora and fauna. Biosecurity laws are important for international pet travel because these laws dictate the complexity of the process, the length of the quarantine and the documentation required for your pet to travel to the country.

What is biosecurity?

Simply put, biosecurity is a process of safeguarding local flora and fauna from unwanted and exotic pests and diseases arriving from other countries. The process is complex and involves using preventive measures such as quarantine to mitigate the risk caused by invasive species.

International trade and travel have increased manifold around the world. Animal and plant products grown in one part of the world is now being consumed elsewhere. Alien species introduced thoughtlessly into the country can ravage the biodiversity and pose a severe threat to the native species. Worldwide, there are examples of invasive species taking over the local landscape and threatening local species to extinction. Biosecurity laws aim to discourage such a situation.  

Biosecurity laws are necessary because invasive species and exotic pests can be a significant threat to local biodiversity. Countries with strict biosecurity laws protect local biodiversity with a series of scientific measures that include isolation and quarantine. Biosecurity laws also help in detecting and removing threats when they arrive in the country.

Biosecurity in Australia

Since Australia is an island, the country is not home to many diseases and pathogens that are native to other parts of the world. Exotic pests or pathogens arriving into the country can cause serious environmental damage. Invasive alien species are the biggest threat to agricultural biodiversity in Australia. Australia’s farm and animal products can be seriously threatened by the introduction of pathogens that can grow unhindered in the country. In 2015, Australia’s banana industry was devastated because of an outbreak of the Panama disease in a property in Queensland. Biosecurity experts swung into action, and there was a national response to eradicating the disease.

Australia has the best biosecurity and quarantine processes in the world. Every day, millions of plants, animals, cargo containers, mail packages that enter the country from different parts of the world are scanned for biosecurity threats. The stringent biosecurity processes have paid off, and Australia is one of the few countries free from several disease-causing pests and pathogens that are found elsewhere in the world.

Biosecurity and international pet travel

Pet dogs and cats pose serious biosecurity threats because of the pathogens they carry. Rabies-free countries such as Australia, New Zealand and Hong Kong have strict anti-rabies regulations to prevent the introduction of the deadly disease into the country.

Most countries insist on vaccination against animal diseases such as rabies, leptospirosis, Bordatella, hepatitis, feline enteritis and others. Pet dogs and cats can introduce these diseases in countries where they are absent if they do not follow biosecurity norms during pet travel.

Australia is known for its strict quarantine and biosecurity regulations for pet import. Every pet dog and cat entering the country must fulfil all pet import regulations and undergo mandatory quarantine, except for pets from New Zealand, Cocos Island or Norfolk Island. Pets travelling to New Zealand are examined minutely for external parasites and pets with fleas and flea dirt on them will be mandated to spend additional days in quarantine and receive treatment before entering the country.

These strict rules may seem excessive and time-consuming for pet parents who wish to travel with their pets, but they are in place to ensure that local biodiversity is not adversely affected. Our pets harbour invisible germs and pathogens, and some of them are capable of great destruction. It is necessary to follow all biosecurity protocol because no one wants their pets to unleash an epidemic in the country inadvertently.

Call the international pet travel experts

International pet travel is not always easy; there are several time-consuming steps to the process. However, these steps are usually well-thought-out, and most of them have scientific backing.

International pet travel is easier when you partner with an accredited pet travel agent who knows the ins and outs of pet transport. If you are planning to travel with your pet, reach out to the experts at Petraveller for more information on biosecurity threats and a detailed pet travel plan.