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wayrod

Byford Animal Quarantine Facility-perth Wa

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wayrod   

News to hand from Department of Agriculture!

Wayrod

Byford animal quarantine facility - closure

Dear Pet Transport Agents

I am writing to advise that the Byford quarantine facility in Perth has been permanently closed. This closure is due to the ongoing difficulty of managing the high risk posed by bushfires at Byford. In future, all dogs and cats will be imported into Australia through quarantine facilities in eastern Australia, currently in Sydney (Eastern Creek) and Melbourne (Spotswood).

Bushfires are commonplace in Australia and it has been necessary to evacuate staff from Byford in the recent past, in the face of rapidly advancing fires. It has not always been possible to also evacuate the animals held in the facility. Abandoning animals in the face of danger is stressful for staff and it would be catastrophic for owners if their animals were to be affected.

This decision will affect all dog and cat importers who indicate an intention to use the Byford facility. I appreciate that this may be an inconvenience to importers; however staff and animal safety are the critical factors that have guided the decision to permanently close the facility.

The Department of Agriculture is contacting individual holders of valid Import Permits who have selected the Byford PEQ facility for their pets’ quarantine period. This is to ensure that they are aware of the situation and the need to change the travel arrangements for their pets, so that they arrive in either Sydney or Melbourne.

If importers have pet(s) to arriving in Australia from 3 February 2014, they may wish to take advantage of the new import conditions that will be available. This will mean that pet(s) only need to stay in post-entry quarantine for a minimum of 10 days. However, importers should note that the new requirements include changes to pre-export preparations, to enable the reduction to 10 days quarantine, which must be followed.

To find out more about the quarantine facilities or the new import conditions you can visit our website at: www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs.

I would greatly appreciate it if you could distribute this message to other parties who may have a need to know.

If you require any further information please call the Department of Agriculture Animal Imports Branch on +61 2 6272 4454.

Yours sincerely

Tamira

Tamira Ford

Director | Animal Division | Animal Import Operations

Edited by wayrod

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That sucks :( Perth has such a high percent of overseas workers, many of whom may want to bring their family pets with them when relocating here for work - this is going to put a lot of people off. We thought long and hard about bringing our three with us - If I knew they were going to be in quarantine on the other side of a very large country where it would be very tricky to visit, then I'm not sure what our decision would have been.

Could they not have relocated to a less bush fire prone area?

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wayrod   

I believe fire danger was only one component. Byford was closed last summer and re-opened in Autumn.

With the recent announcement of 10 day Quarantine effective 3rd February 2014, at Eastern Creek and Spotswood, may also contributed to its demise.

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If I knew they were going to be in quarantine on the other side of a very large country where it would be very tricky to visit, then I'm not sure what our decision would have been.

Don't forget though that they will only be in quarantine for possibly 1/3 of the time they used to be so visiting would be less of an issue for such a short time.

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pie   

I think it's an excuse personally - there have been rumours of them closing for years but this is the first I've heard of bushfires being the reason.

It's a bit sad - but I suppose 10 days on the east coast with no visitors is better than 30 days here with a few visits in my view.

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pie   

I believe fire danger was only one component. Byford was closed last summer and re-opened in Autumn.

With the recent announcement of 10 day Quarantine effective 3rd February 2014, at Eastern Creek and Spotswood, may also contributed to its demise.

Yes I'd say they just won't need the space in Byford now that they can process nearly 3 times the amount of animals in the same timeframe.

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But so many owners will want peace of mind to visit. Louis was probably more of a special case, but I had to make sure he was properly clothed and take a few changes of clothes for him as it was winter. It also took us visiting to point out the blood round Indy's food bowl and to see she had ripped a claw out at some point during the trip :(

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piper   

Same issues that owners in SA, TAS, QLD, NT and areas of WA other than Perth face CrazyCresties - and people get around that by arranging for friends to visit for them.

I think there would be people happy to take 10 days in the Eastern States over 30 days locally.

Edited by piper

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Yes of course, very true Piper - sorry being very 'Perth-centric' :o

I guess I'm thinking about it from the position of an overseas person who has been relocated over here for work, which a lot of the people at Byford were when I went there. We certainly didn't have existing friends who could visit, but I guess you could use a service that visits for you?

Given how we were told how busy Byford was and how it had to be booked well in advance, I still think it's a shame to loose it.

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piper   

My guess is if it closed down for several months last year then it was not being used to capacity. Combine that with a 2/3 cut in quarantine time and that could potentially mean that it is not a viable service to run. Especially given the fact that other facilities will also have a decrease in the number of nights animals are staying and therefore an increase in vacancy rate.

I believe you can book visits with pet walking agencies and things like that to go and visit for you.

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Dogsfevr   

Perth has always been booked out but the facility was brought by the Cohuna syndicate many years ago & has been leased back.

The fire last year was never a threat to the place but there has been other issues.

The residients have complained for years over the noise but that certainly isn't the only reason nor do i believe the fire .

The dogs last year during the fire where released to home quarantine .

I now plenty of people unable to get dogs into Perth due to being booked out as generally the South African dogs & long termers got sent here

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Linda K   

having heard the rumours that even Sydney is slated to be closed, and that Spotswood will be moving within a couple of years out to Kalkallo, in much larger quarters, and will be the sole place for animal quarantine, this news does not surprise me at all.

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What does that mean for animals coming from countries like South Africa? I don't know the detail because I've never had to use such a service but I thought the animal had to be quarantined at it's first Australian destination. Does that mean that those animals will now need to go on flights that land at Melb/Syd as first port? Wouldn't that possibly increase their travel time a great deal (and potentially require them to go through other countries?)? Like I said I don't really know details, this is just what popped in to my head as a thought!

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wayrod   

What does that mean for animals coming from countries like South Africa? I don't know the detail because I've never had to use such a service but I thought the animal had to be quarantined at it's first Australian destination. Does that mean that those animals will now need to go on flights that land at Melb/Syd as first port? Wouldn't that possibly increase their travel time a great deal (and potentially require them to go through other countries?)? Like I said I don't really know details, this is just what popped in to my head as a thought!

We spoke with AQIS when they first approached the idea of a single quarantine station for Australia. They stated that the logistical dilemma of getting dogs to Melbourne was still to be sorted out as they realised not every airline landed in Melbourne.

Last year AQIS sent the dogs in Quarantine at Byford to Eastern Creek to complete their remaining quarantine. These dogs went via domestic airlines, not with other animals! There were no early releases! The owners were contacted and asked if they wanted their pets to be released from Eastern Creek or sent back to WA for collection. Most people from eastern seaboard requested release from Eastern Creek!

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Linda K   

hmmm. This bit was interesting from that link

Additionally the department commissioned a bushfire management report for the Byford quarantine station which identified improvements to landscaping and fire fighting equipment which is now being implemented.

wonder if they actually did that or not. Additionally, since to report seemed to suggest that Eastern Creek would be the first, and others would be closed as their leases ended, wonder how much it cost to get out of the lease vs doing the work.

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Guest Wildthing   
Guest Wildthing

Way back in 1994, I imported two cats to Australia from the UK. They had to do 60 days quarantine and I chose to send them to Eastern Creek. At the time, I was living on the south coast and opted not to visit them - they do not understand why you visit and leave them again.

If I imported any animals now, it would not matter where they came in in relation to where I was living. The most important thing would be getting the animals in safely. Domestic flights can be arranged very easily these days.

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Birkat   

We are on a 457 visa in Perth and have been advised from our employer quite late that we are supposed to move to Autralia, hence we had some trouble getting our dogs ready in time for the quarantine. At the time I finally got the import permission the station in Perth was fully booked months ahead. So we decided to fly them out to Sydney (50 days quarantine!) Us in Perth, the dogs in Sydney there was no way to visit them and looking back, definitely better for them and for myself.

While I had a very bad feeling in the beginning, the dogs were very well treated over there. The staff was devoted to the animals and when we picked them up we could see and feel how good they were. Due to the long q-time we hired the kind of visit-service mentioned in one of the posts. They did some -restricted- walking, grooming and cuddling. At the end from the period we flew them out from Perth to Sydney (combined with a Sydney-weekend-trip for my hubby and myself!!) and all went much much better then we expected.

Though my hubby threatenend to cut down on my birthdays and christmas presents........ the whole thing was horribly expensive!!! :eek:

Cheers

B

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Dogsfevr   

Last year AQIS sent the dogs in Quarantine at Byford to Eastern Creek to complete their remaining quarantine.

Not sure if your referring to when the fire was on which was never going to affect Byford but they did release dogs early to in home quarantine .

Not all where sent to Eastern Creek .

The dogs released early had done over 10 days & then had to go back to Byford for vet release & tick treatment & then signed out

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