What is Animal quarantine? Know All About Animal Quarantine

What is Animal quarantine? Know All About Animal Quarantine

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The increased pace of international trade and exchange of animals / livestock / products / pets in current times has increased the danger of transmission of communicable viral and bacterial diseases which pose a threat to the local animals and humans of the importing countries.

Quarantine refers to Isolation / confinement / seclusion of animals / humans / goods over a specific period, if they are suspected of exposure to infections or of being carriers of infections. 

Animal quarantine is a preventive measure in animals to curb the spread of any communicable, infectious viral, or bacterial disease to other healthy animals or humans. There is a list of contagious diseases like Rinderpest, Rabies, Distemper, Leptospirosis, etc. among animals, for which the quarantine is based on the incubation period of the disease in the infected animal and the animal health laws in different countries.

Animal quarantine is necessary in the case of animals that are imported across borders via air, sea, or land routes. Even before the concept of human and animal quarantine against the spread of Coronavirus began, countries had begun to follow their quarantine procedures for imported animals and formulate quarantine laws to prevent the spread of exotic diseases. 

For example, in 1960, African Horse Sickness rose to a devastating rise because of transportation of infected horses from Pakistan. Within India, in 1961 there was a surge in Swine Flu cases due to the selling of infected pigs in the Goa and Mumbai regions. Similarly, another zoonotic disease that created havoc in India was the Bird Flu among the poultry.

So, while transporting animals within the country borders or across countries internationally, animal quarantine is a very important process that should be taken very strictly and seriously.

Should I quarantine my pet after international travel?

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Certainly!! Pets are one of the largest categories among animals that are transferred or relocated across countries and the most common mode of their transfer is via air. Dogs and cats specifically, need to be under mandatory quarantine due to their susceptibility to contracting Rabies. Rabies is a viral infection that is high in both severity and transmissibility. And that is the primary reason why certain animal quarantine organizations/animal control keep a check at all international airports and other routes that facilitate the animal transfer with compliance with the importing country’s health laws.

What is Rabies Quarantine?

Rabies is a serious viral infection that mostly spreads among pets and humans through an infected animal bite. Despite the availability of the Rabies vaccine, this is one of the most common and highly contagious diseases among animals, especially, dogs and cats. The pet dog or cat should be vaccinated against rabies at least 30 days before their international travel. 

For Rabies particularly, countries around the globe have been classified as ‘High Rabies’, ‘Rabies Controlled’ and ‘Rabies Free’. Based on this classification of the origin and destination countries, the pet is required to quarantine as per the country’s regulations. 

For example, if a pet dog or cat is imported from a rabies-free country like Australia, Japan, New Zealand, the UK, etc., they might not be required to quarantine upon their arrival in the destination country. However, in a vice-versa scenario, where the pet is imported from a high-rabies country to a rabies-free country, the process might get too difficult for the pet owner because of the importing country’s health regulations. 

Based on the classification of the country of export and import, the status of Rabies vaccination, and most importantly the importing country’s animal control and quarantine regulations, the quarantine period of a pet dog or cat can be determined and whether it requires home quarantine or quarantine under government supervision.

What is AQCS and its purpose?

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Keeping in view the prevention and control against the spread of exotic and zoonotic infections among animals in India, an initiative was taken by the Government of India that was named as ‘Animal Quarantine & Certification Services’ (AQCS), as a part of which four animal quarantine stations were set up at locations of Delhi in 1969 initially, followed by Chennai in 1974, Kolkata in 1975, and Mumbai in 1981, and later on two more were added at Bangalore and Hyderabad.

AQCS looks into a provision of internationally accepted certification services for animal and livestock products that are exported to other countries from India thereby complying with the health requirements of importing countries through health regulations specified in the International Zoo Sanitary code.

Animal quarantine period can range anywhere from 21 days to 6 months depending upon the disease suspected in the animal and the regulations of the country that is importing the animal. It also depends on whether the animal has clinical symptoms of the infection based on which either home quarantine or government-supervised quarantine is required.

As per the AQCS for Import-Export procedures into and from India, there is a list of documents that are required along with the application form. A pet relocation company based in India can always be of great help when it comes to the documentation as they are well-versed with the procedure and requirement of the relocation process concerning importing the pets to India and exporting to other countries globally conforming to the countries’ respective requirements and health regulations as prescribed in the International Zoo Sanitary Code of OIE.

What documents are required for Import of Dog and Cat?

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  1. For Accompanied Baggage – ticket of the owner, whereas, for Unaccompanied Baggage – a copy of passport along with immigration stamp within 1 month of owner’s arrival.
  2. Visa copy or any other document that establishes continuous stay abroad for a minimum of 2 years with proof of transfer of residence to India.
  3. For dog – Health Certificate from the country of origin certifying that the dog is free from symptoms of any infectious and contagious diseases like rabies, canine distemper, leptospirosis, parvovirus, etc.
  4. For cat – Health Certificate from the country of origin certifying that the dog is free from symptoms of any infectious and contagious diseases like rabies, distemper, feline enteritis, leptospirosis, etc.
  5. Dogs (3 months and older) and cats must be vaccinated against Rabies at least one month prior up to 12 months before their international travel and the vaccination should be officially mentioned in their health certificate along with any other vaccination record.
  6. The name of the owner mentioned on the ticket or passport must match the name of the owner on the health certificate to establish valid ownership.
  7. The name and address of the owner in the country of origin and country of arrival must be mentioned in the health certificate.
  8. Declaration from the owner that the pet dog/cat/rabbit/bird is a bonafide pet and there is no commercial interest, gift, or breeding purpose behind the import.
  9. No additional feed or bedding is allowed during the travel.
  10. In case of the pet travel and arrival via cargo, the Copy of the airway bill, journey details of the pet, and Bill of entry with custom is required.
  11. An authorization letter is required in case the owner is not approaching directly.

What documents are required for the Export of Livestock including Dog and Cat?

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  1. Copy of Import/Export license or permit or an undertaking required from the owner/exporter.
  2. International Animal Health Certificate including vaccination record, testing, and treatment of animal according to the health requirement of the importing country.
  3. Undertaking/Declaration/Documents of the origin or any other documentation as per the requirement of the importing country.
  4. Copy of airway bill, journey details of the animal required.
  5. An authorization letter is required in case the owner is not approaching directly.
  6. All attached documents with the application form must be self-attested.
  7. All livestock/any animal/pet for export from India to other countries must be microchipped.
  8. Export Quarantine Certificate will be issued only after quarantine observation or physical examination of the animal within 2-3 days before the departure.
  9. The animal can also be referred for a detailed examination in case it is required as per the importing country.

According to the quarantine regulations for animals in India, until the pet or livestock is free from the diseases and is vaccinated against contagious infections, India will not quarantine the animal. Also, it is mandatory to comply with the import regulations of India to determine whether or not your pet is required to quarantine.

It is always advantageous to approach and take the help of an international pet relocation expert for all the documentation and Import/Export regulations. Carry My Pet is a top pet relocation company based out of Delhi, India which not only helps with the entire relocation of pets at an economical price but also handholds the pet owner throughout the relocation process to comply with all the documentation required, customs, regulations and health requirements of importing countries globally. 

So, if you are relocating your pet to India and are confused regarding the quarantine period of your pet or the documents required, get in touch with the one-stop solution called Carry My Pet!!



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