Pet travel I – Philippines


Pet relocation is not an easy proceeding. When I relocated my cat to Sarawak Malaysia, I wished I didn’t. Import conditions and requirements not only vary from one country to another, it may also vary among states  or territory within a country. For example in Malaysia, the import conditions in the mainland Peninsular Malaysia are not applicable at all in Sarawak, a state in East Malaysia. Therefore, it is best to contact the appropriate authority in the place of your pet’s destination rather than rely solely on information acquired from the internet. Online services for pet relocation are also available nowadays but most are limited only to major cities.
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Here are the guidelines I’ve gathered for import and export of pets (dogs and cats) in the Philippines:
Guidelines for the Importation of Live Pet Animals to the Philippines
(For dogs and cats)
1.Apply for an import permit at National Veterinary Quarantine Services (NVQS), Bureau of Animal Industry (BAI) by accomplishing the application form or by writing a Letter Request addressed to the BAI Director, with the following information:
a. species and breed of animal
b. sex, color and number of pets
c. expected date of arrival
The BAI address and contact number is:

BAI google map

National Veterinary Quarantine Services
Bureau of Animal Industry
Visayas Avenue, Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines
Telephone no. (632) 928 2743; Fax no. (632) 928 2836
Website:  http://www.bai.ph/
Based from my inquiry, there are no provincial office (at least in Southern Luzon) that issues this permit. Permits should be applied at the above mentioned office. I am not sure, but perhaps  channeling through your local DA might be possible.

2.The animals must be four (4) months of age or above.
3.If the number of animals exceeds five, they are to be inspected at the government quarantine site.
4.Issuance and inspection fees are P100.00 and P250.00 for the first two head and P300.00 for the succeeding head, respectively.
5.Permit is good for 2 months; extension for another month may be requested before its expiry date. Payment for extension is P100.00
6.The dog and the necessary documents including a valid health certificate from the country of origin shall be presented at the Veterinary Quarantine Unit for inspection as well as payment of fees for permits and other necessary fees such as mailing or fax transmittal of Veterinary Quarantine Clearance (VQC).
7.A Notice of Quarantine shall be issued. The cat and dog shall be subjected to an in-house quarantine for 30 days.

Requirements for Pet Export from the Philippines
This may also be applicable for local air travel in the Philippines.

Information required in applying for an Export Permit from BAI (Bureau of Animal Industry)
– Name of Pet
– Breed
– Sex
– Age
– Color
– Weight
– Species

Documents required to support the above application:
1.Vaccination Record – containing details of the vaccines administered and date of    vaccination.
2.Health Certificates issued from a licensed veterinarian – issued within 10 days of the travel date and should state that the animal has been examined and free from any communicable disease.
A 2-sheet (1 original pink copy and 1 duplicate) veterinary health certificate (Export Certificate) will be issued by BAI. No fees were collected from acquiring the Export Certificate. Upon arrival at NAIA, report to the quarantine desk and the officer will get the copy and issue you another travel permit upon payment of 100PHP.
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Cebu Pacific Cargo Services accommodates shipment of live animal provided that the animal i.e. cat or dog is placed on an appropriate container. It is recommended that pet carriers or kennel should be IATA approved. There are many carriers available at pet shops, choose the one that says IATA approved. Most importantly, make sure that your pet can move freely in the container. It should sit and stand comfortably. You can refer to these guidelines at dryfur.com.

It is advisable that before the trip, your pet must have peed and pooped already. If  you can’t ascertain this, skip feeding time prior to the trip. My pet cat was rather convenient, his urges to evacuate his wastes can be induced by freshly laid sand litter. Although my pet didn’t discharged for the entire trip, for precaution, I taped on an absorbent underpad on the kennel floor.

Plastic kennel I used to transport my cat from the Philippines.

When I traveled my cat, I had a couple of stop-overs and connecting flights. So I brought with me a small amount of water and food and small plastic containers for eating. Good thing I did this because he was detained in Kota Kinabalu airport quarantine office overnight since we missed our connecting flight to Miri.
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Pet travel II – Sarawak

Pet relocation is not an easy proceeding. When I relocated my cat to Sarawak Malaysia, I wished I didn’t. Import conditions and requirements not only vary from one country to another, it may also vary among states  or territory within a country. For example in Malaysia, the import conditions in Peninsular Malaysia are not applicable at all in Sarawak, a state in East Malaysia. Therefore, it is best to contact the appropriate authority in the place of your pet’s destination rather than rely solely on informations acquired from the internet. Online services for pet relocation are also available nowadays but most are limited only to major cities.

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Animal Quarantine Requirements for the State of Sarawak

Every dog or cat imported to Sarawak shall undergo a quarantine period of not less than 6 months in a facility directed by the Government Veterinary officer.

Exceptions:
1. Any dog imported to Sarawak direct from Sabah or Brunei.
2. Any dog or cat imported into Sarawak from countries such as United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand provided it satisfies the following conditions:
a) It is transported direct to Sarawak
b) In cases where it has been in transit in Singapore or Kuala Lumpur, it must be detained in the corresponding Quarantine Station. Upon import to Sarawak, it shall be accompanied by a certificate   signed by the Veterinary Authority in charge of the Quarantine Station indicating its detention.
c) It is accompanied by a certificate issued by a Veterinary Officer indicating good health and absence of infectious disease during the time of embarkation.

Penalty for illegal importation of animal, animal carcass or animal products is imprisonment for 6 months and a fine of 1,000 Malaysian Ringgit.

In ports of entry to Sarawak, a huge tarpaulin displays the message of a fine of up to 50,000 RM and/or imprisonment if anyone is caught not declaring any plant or animal products defined by the Authority.

Written below are the harsh reality that you have to face when you import  your pet from any country other than mentioned above. (If your pet doesn’t come from these specific countries: United Kingdom, Ireland, Australia and New Zealand.)
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Import Conditions for the Importation of Dogs and Cats from Peninsular Malaysia Into Sarawak, Malaysia*

*This may also apply to countries not defined in the  exemption. The quarantine officer in Miri gave a printed copy of this to me when my cat was sentenced for 6 months in quarantine at the Government Small Animal Quarantine Station in Miri. I did not know about this because I failed to call Miri Veterinary Public Health office, and I did not find this at all in the internet. For import conditions into Peninsular Malaysia, go to this site.

1. Import License
Your pet should be accompanied by a valid import permit issued by the State Veterinary Authority Sarawak. This means that prior to date of travel, you must have contacted the appropriate authority and secured the permit.
Contact number for State Veterinary Authority in Miri: Phone 085-411866 Fax: 085-412098
2. Description of animal and identification
– Microchip of cat or dog
– Your pet must be identified by a microchip readable by an ISO compatible reader (i.e. Aviod, Travon, Destron)
– The identification code of the transplanted microchip must be reflected in the health certificate, vaccination records, and other related documents.
– The vaccination certificate also bears the complete details (name and address) of the veterinarian.
– The imported cat or dog must not be pregnant.

3. Veterinary Certification
Your pet must be accompanied by a certificate from a competent Government Veterinary officer certifying that:
i) the animal had been examined within seven days prior to the date of importation and cleared of rabies and any clinical sign of infectious disease
ii) the animal had been tested negative for Nipah Virus infection

4. Quarantine in Sarawak Malaysia
Upon arrival the animal shall be placed in quarantine and subject to tests for disease and antibody status. The period of quarantine shall be according to the following categories:
a. Quarantine period of 180 days:
– If the last rabies vaccination with killed vaccine was done 12 months before export of the animal. Check with your vet what kind of vaccine was administered.
– rabies antibodies of less than 0.5 iu/ml (from FAVN test result)
For more information about the test, you can check here: pet relocation, csiro, kansas state
b. Quarantine period of between 30 days and 180 days:
– If the last rabies vaccination with killed vaccine was less than 6 months before export and
– rabies antibodies is more than 0.5 iu/ml
The exact quarantine period is 180 days minus the number of days from date of last vaccination. The minimum quarantine period is 30 days.
c. Quarantine period of 30 days:
– if the last rabies vaccination with killed vaccine is less than 12 months but more than 6 months before export and
– rabies antibodies is more than 0.5 iu/ml
5. Breeds of dogs not eligible for importation into Sarawak
Pit Bull Terrier or American Pitbull
American Staffordshire Terrier
Staffordshire Terrier
American Bulldog
Japanese Tosa (Tosa-Inu, Tosa-Uen)
Akita (Japanese Akita, Great Japanese Dog)
Neapolitan Mstiff
Fila Brazileiro
Dogo Argentino
6. Fees
Import License: RM5.00 per head
Quarantine Fees: RM3.00 – RM5.00 per day per head according to the size of animal
I was charged RM1.5 for my cat.
Costs related to blood testing is entirely shouldered by the owner.

The quarantine facility for small animals in Miri is quite sufficient in the case for my cat. The room measures about 4 x 6 feet floor area and has an auxiliary stairs for the cat to climb on. At the top of the stairs is a perching pad for the cat to rest upon. Also a ceiling fan operates 24/7 for proper ventilation of the room.  All the basic necessities such as food, water and sand litter are provided. However, I provided my cat’s own brand of food.

7. Failure to comply with any of the conditions will result in the animal being detained on arrival and placed under quarantine or re-export at the importer’s expense.

8. The State Veterinary Authority reserves the right to amend or revise further rules and regulations pertaining to the import of dogs and cats into Sarawak for any reason deemed necessary.

Please Note: The information above was taken directly from materials acquired from the Veterinary Authority Sarawak. Please contact this office if you should have any questions.
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