Pet Passport South Africa
Regulations for taking a pet dog or cat to South Africa
South Africa does not quarantine healthy pets from certain countries* provided the pet has the proper paperwork and vaccinations for entering South Africa. There are several steps that must be undertaken.
- You must first file an Import Application for your pet with the Director of Animal Health. Following receipt of the completed Import Application form, a Veterinary Import Permit will be issued and sent directly to you.
- All pets entering South Africa must be microchipped with a 15 digit ISO pet microchip. If your pet's microchip is not ISO 11784/11785 compliant, you can bring your own microchip scanner.
- Proof of rabies vaccination** administered not less than 30 days and not more than 12 months prior to entry.
- Unless you are entering South Africa from New Zealand, Australia, UK or Northern Ireland, an accredited veterinarian must administer a Blood Titer Test on your dog and send it to an approved laboratory for testing not more than 30 days before arrival in South Africa. (not required for cats) Additionally, your dog must be tested for the following diseases by blood tests: Brucella canis, Trypanosoma evansi, Babesia gibsoni, Dirofilaria immitis,Leishmania
- A USDA or CFIA licensed veterinarian will complete the Veterinary Certificate for South Africa for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA if traveling from the United States or Canada. If you are traveling from another country, the Governing Authority from your country responsible for the import and export of animals should endorse the forms.
- A copy of the Rabies Certificate should also be included.
Dogs will be subject to a minimum of 14 days of quarantine unless they are entering from the following countries and are accompanied by the properly completed paperwork: United States, Canada, Argentina, Austria, Australia, Belgium, Botswana, Bulgaria, Comoros, Cyprus, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungry, Iceland , Ireland, Israel, Italy, Latvia, Lesotho, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malawi, Malta, Namibia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Northern Ireland, Norway, Portugal, Poland, Reunion, Romania, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Swaziland, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom, and Zimbabwe.
**Rabies vaccination for pets entering from Australia, New Zealand,
Northern Ireland and the United Kingdom is not required but highly
Upon arrival in South Africa, you will present the Veterinary Certificate and the approved Import Permit to the quarantine officer. Cats with the original versions of a properly completed Import Permit and Veterinary Health Certificate will not be subject to quarantine.
Dogs that will be quarantined on arrival in South Africa may only be imported into South Africa via Johannesburg or Cape Town International Airports. Dogs and cats that are being imported from countries not subject to quarantine 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 or port of entry (including land border posts).
In cases where quarantine of animals is required due to lack of proper paperwork, you must contact the Quarantine Officer at the port of entry prior to arrival. The Quarantine Officer will arrange the reservation for accommodation at the Quarantine Station and must complete the applicable part of the application form.
Your pet can fly to South Africa in-cabin if airline policies permit it,
however, it will still be classified as manifest cargo and airline
personnel must take possession of your pet when you land to process
through veterinary inspection.
Puppies and Kittens:
Puppies and kittens under three months of age do not need to be vaccinated for rabies. However, puppies and kittens less than 3 months of age can only travel to South Africa if the mother of the puppy or kitten has been vaccinated for rabies more than 30 days before and less than 12 months before the birth of the puppy or kitten. These pets 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.
Whenever you travel to a foreign country like South Africa, it is always advisable to carry some form of identification indicating ownership of the pet.
Failure to comply with these regulations will mean that your pet will be refused entry or returned to the country of origin or placed in quarantine, all at the expense of the person responsible for your pet.
Inspection: All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of disease
communicable to humans when examined at the port of entry to
South Africa. If your dog or cat is not in apparent good health, further examination by a
licensed veterinarian may be required at your expense.
Other Animals: Birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and rabbits are not subject to requirements of rabies vaccination, but may have to meet other requirements and should have a health certificate to enter South Africa. Pet owners are strongly advised to seek further information from the relevant authority of their country and/or that of the country of destination.
Veterinary Certificate: All countries have unique veterinary certificates. This form may differ from the veterinary certificate issued by veterinarians in the United States. (APHIS 7001) It is an essential part of the cat or dog passport.
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