Media statement: Dog held at Brisbane Airport

2 November 2018

(Issued by Department of Agriculture)

Biosecurity officers at Brisbane Airport have seized a dog that arrived on a flight from the United States undeclared and without an import permit.

The passenger has been issued with an infringement notice and a $420 fine for providing a false declaration on their incoming passenger card. The dog has been directed for export from Australia and is scheduled to depart today.

The Department of Agriculture and Water Resources will be investigating the circumstances, including airline procedures, that led to the dog arriving in Australia.

Australia has strict conditions for the import of dogs to guard against serious biosecurity threats.  

The conditions for dogs were developed to protect Australia from a number of pests and diseases. These include rabies, ehrlichia, leishmania and leptospirosis.

None of these diseases are present in Australia, however even one illegally imported dog that has not undertaken the correct health checks or tests could change that.

Every year more than 60,000 people worldwide die from rabies and 99 per cent of these cases are caused by the bite of a rabies-infected dog.

Dogs imported to Australia must be accompanied by a valid import permit, and have undergone relevant testing and health checks signed off by a government veterinarian from the exporting country.

Dogs must do a minimum 10 days in a government quarantine facility once arriving in Australia. This quarantine period is dependent on meeting Australia’s strict pre-import requirements, which vary by exporting country.

For information on importing dogs, cats and other animals into Australia, please visit

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