REQUIREMENTS TO IMPORT DOGS/CATS TO SOUTH AFRICA FROM THAILAND

General

 

  • A veterinary import permit is needed to import Dogs & Cats into South Africa. 

 

  • Cats are not routinely quarantined on arrival in South Africa. The cat must however have a valid import permit and a correctly completed health certificate, signed and stamped by a government veterinarian of the exporting country. If these documents are not available at the time of the cat’s arrival in South Africa, the cat will be kept in quarantine until the required documentation is presented at the quarantine station. 

 

  • Dogs and cats must have a valid rabies vaccination. In the case of a primary rabies vaccination the vaccination must be given not more than 12 months and not less than 30 days before the date of import. In the case of a booster rabies vaccination the vaccination must be given not more than 12 months before the date of import.

 

  • Vaccination against rabies is not required for cats/dogs imported from Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom and Northern Ireland but vaccination against rabies for cats/dogs imported from these countries is advised. This will ensure that the cat/dog has sufficient immunity against rabies on arrival in South Africa to prevent it from contracting rabies in South Africa. 

 

  • Puppies/Kittens under three months of age do not need to be vaccinated for rabies. But puppies/kittens less than 3 months of age can only travel to South Africa if the dam/queen of the puppy/kitten has been vaccinated for rabies more than 30 days before and less than 12 months before the birth of the puppy/kitten. These puppies/kittens must be vaccinated for rabies after arrival in South Africa at 3 months of age and proof of the vaccination must be presented to the South African Veterinary Authorities.

 

  • Quarantine of 14 days will be imposed on some dogs, depending on the country of origin of the dog. Dogs from the following list of countries below do not need to go into quarantine on arrival in South Africa. The dog must however have a valid import permit and a correctly completed health certificate, signed and stamped by a government veterinarian of the exporting country. If these documents are not available at the time of the dog’s arrival in South Africa, the dog will be kept in quarantine until the required documentation is presented at the quarantine station.  

 

Europe.  

Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland,  France, Germany, Greece,  Iceland , Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania,  Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Portugal, Poland, Spain, Slovakia,  Slovenia, Sweden, Switzerland , UK, Norway and Hungry.

North America  

Canada and United States of America

 

Australasia  

Australia and New Zealand

 

Africa

Botswana, Comoros, Malawi, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, Mauritius, Reunion. 

 

Asia

Israel

 

South America

Argentina

  • Before a quarantine booking for a dog can be confirmed, the importer must sign an indemnity form. Copies of the indemnity form can be obtained from Dr Rajput at the Import Export Policy Unit, the permit office and from the two quarantine stations (see contact details below). The original signed indemnity form needs to either be handed in at the quarantine station were the dog will be quarantined or the original signed indemnity form needs to be posted or couriered to the quarantine station. Faxed and scanned copies will not be accepted. Bookings at the quarantine stations will only be confirmed on receipt of the original signed indemnity form.

 

  • If you are importing a dog from an island please contact the Import Export Policy Unit to find out if your dog will be quarantined on arrival in South Africa.  

 

  • All dogs and cats imported into South Africa must be permanently identified with a microchip (tattoos will not be accepted).

 

  • The microchip must be able to be read by an ISO 11784 or ISO 11785 scanners. 

 

  • Dogs that will be quarantined on arrival in South Africa may only be imported into South Africa via OR Tambo (Johannesburg) or Cape Town International Airports. Dogs that are being imported from countries not subject to quarantine and cats can also be imported into South Africa via Durban International Airport. Dogs and cats will not be allowed to enter South Africa via any other airport. 

 

  • All dogs and cats imported into South Africa must be registered, as manifest cargo and can not fly as excess baggage. The Directorate Animal Health does not have veterinary officials at the passenger terminal of OR Tambo (Johannesburg) and Cape Town International Airport to check the paper work of dogs entering South Africa via the passenger terminal of the respective airports. The dogs and cats can only disembark via the cargo terminal of the respective airports. 

 

  • If the airline will allow it the dog or cat may travel in the cabin with the owner but the animal must be registered as manifest cargo and the airline staff must take the animal from the owner on landing so that the animal can be off loaded from the plane via the cargo terminal. 

 

  • On arrival at the airport the original Veterinary Import Permit issued by the Directorate Animal Health and the original Veterinary Health Certificate signed, stamped and certified by Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country must be presented to the veterinary officials at the airport before the dog or cat can be released. The documents can either travel with the animal or the person collecting the animal must present the documents to the officials at the airport. The latter is only for animals that are not going into Quarantine on arrival in South Africa. The paperwork of animals going into quarantine must travel with the animal.

Testing of Dogs

 

  • Before dogs can be imported the dog needs to be certified free from the following five diseases by means of blood tests. The dog’s blood can either be tested in the country of origin or the blood sample can be sent to South Africa for testing.  

       - Brucella canis by serum agglutination / rapid slide agglutination test

       - Trypanosoma evansi by card agglutination test and giemsa blood smear

       - Babesia gibsoni by Immunoflourescence  antibody test & giemsa blood smear 

       - Dirofilaria immitis by microfilarial filtration test

       - Leishmania Indirect fluorescent antibody or ELISA or Direct agglutination test or Western blot/membrane immunoassay

 

 

  • If the Veterinary Authorities of the exporting country can certify that the exporting country is free from one or more of the above mentioned five diseases then the dogs exported to South Africa do not need to have blood tests done for the disease that the exporting country is free from. 

 

  • The Directorate Animal Health require the following test or tests to be used for the above mentioned five diseases 

  • Please note that any dog testing positive for any of the above-mentioned five diseases will not be eligible for import into South Africa. 

 

  • Blood tests need to be done within 30 days of the date of export to South Africa. 

 

  • Dogs imported from countries not certified free from Trypanosoma evansi must be tested and will only be allowed into the Republic of South Africa on negative testing. 

 

  • Dogs imported from countries not certified free from Dirofilaria immitis must be treated from the date of negative testing until export at the required intervals with: 

                                        -   Diethylcarbamazine (5-6 mg/kg per os daily) 

                                        OR 

                                        -   Ivermectin (6 micrograms/kg per os monthly)

                                        OR 

                                        -   Milbemycin oxime (0,5 mg/kg per os monthly) 

                                        OR

                                        -   Moxidectin (3 micrograms/kg per os monthly) 

                                        OR 

                                        -   Selemectin (6mg/kg)  

                                        -   (Revolution) Prophylactic only 

                                        OR 

                                        -   Proheart SR12 (Subcut injection yearly)*

 

 

* If the date of the negative test falls within 11 months of giving the Proheart SR12 subcutaneous injection then no further Dirofilaria immitis treatment is required. 

 

Sufficient Dirofilaria immitis medication needs to accompany the dog to South Africa so that the dogs can receive a six month course of medication after importation into South Africa.  

 

  • All dogs that have to be quarantined on arrival in South Africa will be retested for the above mentioned five diseases. This is regardless of the results of the blood tests done before the dog was exported to South Africa and is done at the owner’s expense. 

 

  • Dogs found positive for the above mentioned five diseases will not be released from Quarantine. 

 

  • If, while in quarantine, a dog is found to be positive for Brucella canis, Lieshmania or Babesia gibsoni, the dog will either be returned to the exporting country or euthanized in the quarantine station. This will be done at the owner’s expense. 

 

  • If, while in quarantine, a dog is found to be positive for Dirofilaria immitis or Trypanasoma evansi, the owner will be given the option of treatment for the dog while in the quarantine station or sending the dog back to the exporting country. If the dog is treated in quarantine, it will be re-tested following treatment and will only be released from quarantine once acceptable test results are received to indicate that the dog does not pose a disease risk. All costs for quarantine, testing, treatment or return of the dog will be at the owner’s expense.

Reference: https://www.nda.agric.za/vetweb/ImportExport/ImportProcedures/Protocol%20for%20the%20%20import%20of%20dogs%20cats%20into%20RSA.htm

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