Relocating to a new country means having to adapt to a completely new environment, and all of us react in a certain way to change. But while we often think about the repercussions of moving on us and our family, we often forget the effect that it can have on our pets! For pet owners who are considering relocating to Singapore, it is important to know the practical aspects of moving a pet: entry regulations, flight regulations etc. as well as the possible effects of a new environment on your beloved pet.
Let’s first consider the various rules and regulations involved in moving your pet from one country to another. This includes the regulations for flights, as well as government regulations to enter the country with a pet animal.Flight Regulations
Different airlines have different regulations for carrying different pet animals on board a flight. Most airlines allow no animals in the cabin except for guide or assistance dogs for visually impaired persons, and allow transportation of pets in the aircraft hold. But some airlines do allow for small pets to be carried on board as ‘carry on’ baggage.
Carrying pets on board flights is subject to strict regulations, and usually pets cannot be let outside their carrying case at any point during the flight. The cargo section, while set at a comfortable temperature for pets, is usually completely dark. Many vets therefore prescribe tranquilising pets during a long haul flight.
Most major airlines have some type of special live animal transportation scheme, which is supposed to follow Live Animal Regulations prescribed by IATA. Some airlines may also have a complete ‘No Pets Policy’ where they do not have any provision for transporting pets, or sometimes environmental conditions do not allow for pet transportation in the hold.
You can check the specific regulations for your airline by exploring their website for more information regarding travel with pets.
Singapore Entry Regulations for Pets
The Singapore government has specific regulations in place for importing pets from different parts of the world. Every pet must receive a valid import license from the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority within 30 days before your date of arrival. You can apply for this using this form and application guide on the official website.
The fee for the import license is S$50 per animal, and it remains valid for 30 days within being granted. The authority charges S$50 surcharge for processing the license within 2 working days.
There are four categories of groups of countries, and precise regulations for each category. You can find up-to-date information regarding each category on the official Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) website here.
For instance, Category A includes Australia, New Zealand, Republic of Ireland, and United Kingdom. In order to be granted import license by the AVA, you need to have some certifications from a government approved veterinary surgeon from your country of origin, and in case of cats and dogs these must not be older than a week prior to the pet’s date of travel. Two examples of the required certifications are:
· The vet must provide a document which includes a description of the animal, including the breed, sex, age, and any other ID marks on the animal, and certify that the pet has been resident in your home country for at least six months prior to export and is at least 12 weeks old at the time of travel.
· The dog/cat has been examined by the government approved vet and found to be implanted with a microchip that bears the identification code as that indicated in the veterinary health certificate and the vaccination certificate.
Some breeds of animals have additional requirements, and different small pets have different regulations. You can find all the regulations on the link provided above.
Microchips are the only accepted form of identification for pets while entering Singapore. Entering from certain countries including USA and Canada involves a 4 week default period of quarantine, so it is important to find out the exact regulations for your country of export and the type of pet, and prepare accordingly.
Effects of Relocation on Pets
Just like people, animals too become accustomed to a certain environment, and equally experience the effects of sudden change. It is not uncommon for cats, for instance, to become moody and even become temporarily depressed after a move.
Practical changes in environment, such as a change in drinking water or food can also affect pets. You can find a number of qualified veterinary surgeons, registered with the Singapore Veterinary Association who can give you more advice about caring for your pet in Singapore.
More Information about Relocating Pets to Singapore
The International Air Transport Association (IATA) publishes guidelines for carrying pets on board flights. These can be found on the IATA website.
The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore provides specific guidelines for different animals and countries of export.