Relocating to Australia with a furry friend? Moving to Australia with a pet is certainly a process. Many of our customers get particularly nervous about one piece of the journey: the required quarantine period when their dog or cat arrives. As long as you’re organized, your pet’s quarantine period in Australia will be totally fine. And a pet-owner reunion is even sweeter down under!
All dogs and cats entering Australia are required to spend 10 days at the same post-entry quarantine facility: Mickleham Quarantine Station in Melbourne. It’s always a 10-day stay; there are no exceptions to this rule. This state-of-the-art facility cost the Aussies a whopping $380 million to build! (The Weekly Times)
About Mickleham Quarantine Station
Open since 2015, Mickleham is one of the nicest animal quarantine facilities in the world. It’s made up of sleek, modern buildings for each type of animal, with wonderful caretakers who will look after your pet and carefully follow any special food or medication accommodations they require.
The facility is kept very clean. The kennels include floor heating, veterinary examination rooms, and exercise yards. All pets are housed in their own private, climate-controlled pens.
Location: 135 Donnybrook Rd, Mickleham VIC 3064, Australia
Pet Release Hours: Every Day: 10:00 AM – 12:00 PM
Phone Number: 1800 900 090 /+61 2 8318 6700
There are a few steps you need to follow to secure your dog or cat’s 10-day stay at Mickleham Quarantine Facility:
- Request an import permit
- Book a reservation at Mickleham
- Pay all Mickleham Quarantine fees
- Schedule a release appointment
- Plan for pickup or post-quarantine pet transportation
Requesting an import permit (takes approximately 10-20 days)
Once your dog or cat has passed results for the Rabies Antibody Titer Test and these results have been endorsed by a government entity, you’ll need to apply for an import permit through Australia’s BICON (Biosecurity Import Conditions) System.
To use BICON, you’ll create a user account. Once you have an account, simply follow the prompts BICON provides to apply for your pet’s import permit. You’ll be required to upload the following documentation:
- Rabies vaccination certificate
- Rabies Antibody Titer Test results
- RNATT Declaration from your country’s government
- For animals with any ongoing medical condition(s), a completed veterinary medical form from your veterinarian detailing the condition(s) your animal is suffering from and the treatment (if any) that is required to manage it.
It’s easiest to have these files ready before beginning the application process.
If your pet requires special food or medication, you should note this on your pet’s import permit application under the “special needs” section. This information will get passed along to Mickleham.
Most Australia pet import permits take 10-20 days to be assessed, but it can take longer during busy seasons or if you have a complicated application. You’ll be able to track the progress of your application through the BICON system, and you’ll receive an email if there are any issues with your application once your submission has been processed.
Booking Your Pet’s Stay at Mickleham
Once you’ve received your pet’s import permit and booked your flights, you can request quarantine space at the Mickleham facility in Melbourne. It’s important to do this in advance of your pet’s arrival, as space can fill up quickly and your pet’s import permit does not guarantee quarantine availability.
To make a quarantine booking, you’ll use the Post Entry Biosecurity System. This portal will walk you through each section needed to confirm space for your pet. Be prepared to supply your pet’s import permit information, along with their flight information.
Similar to the import permit application, you’ll be able to check on your pet’s reservation status and make any changes or updates to the reservation as needed. You’ll also need to schedule a release appointment for your pet on this system for picking them up from quarantine after the mandatory 10-day period.
“Moving your pet to Australia can be quite a lengthy endeavor, up to six months! The most complex elements are applying for the import permit and setting up the vet visit treatment schedule, hands down.
Clients are often surprised at the lengthy explanations we provide to their vets before each visit, with instructions down to how notes need to be taken from their exams.”
–Andrea Gold, International Relocation Coordinator
Getting Your Pet to Mickleham
Many pet owners inquire about picking up their own pets from the airport and taking them to Mickleham. This is not a possibility; the Mickleham staff are required to pick up all pets from the airport in Melbourne and transport them directly to PEQ (Post Entry Quarantine) where they will be cared for and monitored until 10 days have passed.
The facility will always notify us (or the pet owner) of your pet’s safe arrival within 24-hours.
What Mickleham is Like for Your Pet
Quarantine may seem like a scary time for your pet, especially since there is no visitation allowed, but Mickleham offers great accommodations and care for pets during their quarantine stay. Often times, they’ll assign a specific handler to each pet to ensure the handler can closely monitor any changes during the pet’s quarantine period and react appropriately.
Each pet is assigned their own room so the staff can monitor their food and water intake properly and take action should any pet not be handling the stay well.
“I have had a great experience working with the team at Mickleham since they opened. If they have any concern about how a pet is settling in, they won’t hesitate to reach out to the owner.
Due to the large number of animals they take care of, no news is good news! They will respond to any inquiries, but not hearing from them should assure you that your little one is doing great!”
–Nina Faber, Senior International Relocation Coordinator
If the staff notices a dog in a family is not handling the new environment well, they may move them to the same run as the other family dog to help provide comfort.
You, unfortunately, cannot send your pet to quarantine with their favorite toys. Any items that travel in the kennel with your pet will be destroyed upon arrival, as the Australian government deems them as soiled. Bedding is provided by the facility staff to suit age and breed needs. Your pet will be groomed or bathed for biosecurity and/or hygiene reasons only.
Mickleham provides high-quality dry food for all cats and dogs staying at the facility once daily (unless otherwise advised by a veterinarian). The current food offered is “Advance AU” dry food.
If your pet has a sensitive diet and needs special food during their quarantine stay, the facility is extremely accommodating as long as you make these requests formally during the import permit and quarantine booking processes. You will be asked to source your pet’s food in Australia and have it posted to Mickleham along with a veterinary letter.
For medications, you’ll need to make arrangements with a private veterinarian in Australia to visit your pet in quarantine and prescribe the appropriate medication. You can email the booking and invoicing team at PEQservices@agriculture.gov.au to make these arrangements for your pet.
Not including airfare, any medications, or special food your pet requires, you can expect to pay around $1,200 USD ($1,710 AUD) per pet for quarantine. An import permit typically costs $369 USD ($540 AUD). Additional quarantine fees are broken out as follows:
|Service||Notes||Cost (in AUD)|
|Quarantine Entry (listed as 'Lodgement-Manual' on initial invoice)||This fee is per-animal||$33|
|Veterinary examination of animal and health certification
(listed as ‘LAI In Office (1/4hr) Anim/Rep’ on the initial invoice)
Fee per 15 minutes. This fee is charged for each animal.
This fee is charged for each animal. If additional information is required to complete document assessment an additional $40 per 15 minutes will be charged.
PEQ importation charge
Accommodation for a cat
Daily rate per cat
Accommodation for an additional cat (if sharing accommodation with the first cat)
|Daily rate per additional cat||$29|
|Accommodation for a dog||Daily rate per dog||$29|
|Accommodation for an additional dog (if sharing accommodation with the first dog)||Daily rate per additional dog||$29|
|Any additional veterinary care|
Additional veterinary needs, e.g. booster vaccinations, are provided by a private veterinarian
International Documentation Fee (IDF)
This fee is charged by the airline and paid by the department on your behalf upon collection of your animal from the airport. This will appear on the first invoice.
Stowage of goods
|For animals not removed after quarantine finishes||Varies|
If You’re Working with PetRelocatioN
Australia is one of the most popular pet relocation destinations we help our clients with. We do the heavy lifting to take this complex application and import process off your plate so you can focus on your human move.
Upon your pet’s arrival in Melbourne, our team makes sure they’re booked for and properly delivered to Mickleham. Additionally, we will arrange post-quarantine destination services including forwarding flights and home delivery, helping ensure an easier experience for you from start to finish.
If you have other questions about Mickleham quarantine care, you’re always welcome to ask our team of experts! We know the process well, and recommend getting started as soon as you know you’re planning to bring your dog or cat to Australia.