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Old 08-03-2009, 07:18 PM   #1
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 1
Default Pets Cruising The South Pacific

G'day all,

My husband, our baby son, myself and hopefully our Venezuelan cat are currently in Panama, soon to be heading to the S.Pacific.

I say hopefully our dear little cat because i have heard rumours of difficulties of entering some of the islands eg. Cooks, Tonga...even of animals being destroyed!

I would really appreciate info from anyone who might have 1st hand experience of having a cat aboard in these areas and what is required.

I need to know if she is better off retiring here in Panama or if we can jump thru all the hoops to keep her as a crewmember.

Thanks so much,

sv.jezebel bocas del toro , panama

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Old 08-04-2009, 11:53 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 2,098

The cat will not be allowed ashore in any of Oceania. When you arrive in New Zealand or Australia you will be required to keep the cat on board at all times and you will be visited by (?) Animal Control weekly, and you will have to pay for their visit - at a quite pricey hike. Additionally, in Autralia, you will not be allowed to tie up in a marina due to the risk that the cat will escape and get on shore.

Here's a quote regarding some of Australia's rules as reported on The Cruising Wiki: "Yachts with animals on board may only anchor, and the animal must be kept on board and confined (in a cage or below decks) at all times. Quarantine must be notified of any intention to change mooring at least 48 hours prior to moving, as well as the proposed itinerary in Australian waters. Permission to go to a dock to take fuel or water must be obtained in advance. While at the dock, the animal must be locked below. Permission must also be obtained before sailing to another area. The boat must be locked up whenever the crew is away. If embarking animals in Australia, they must have a health certificate issued by a veterinarian."

New Zealand is even stricter.

In 1986 we went cruising for a few years. After 20 years and 50+ countries and several oceans, we are STILL "cruising for a few years".

MV WATERMELON (New) | Cruiser's Dictionary, free ebook

= Cruiser's Dictionary, North America,
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Old 08-07-2009, 12:54 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 130

Cruising the South Pacific with a pet is not easy or inexpensive. You to to have documentation records for the animal as to origin, health, and "shots." Also you will need to get a RFID chip injected into the animal and get it registered with one of the internationally recognized animal database companies. I used the AVID system from Canada. There is supposedly a pre-screening procedure in Tahiti that would reduce some of the quarantine time in New Zealand. I don't know if that option is still available.

New Zealand and Australia have internet websites for importation of animals. The procedures are extremely burdensome and very expensive including paying for on-land quarantine for up to 6 months (they put the animal in "jail" for up to 180 days). Australia is harder on the boat and movement, whereas New Zealand is harder on the animal.

New Zealand has an entire document about "Import Health Standards for the importation of Cats and Dogs into New Zealand on Yachts" which is available on-line. Australia does not require quarantine of the animal if the animal has been in New Zealand for over 90 days (60 days of which must not have been in quarantine in New Zealand, so you could have to spend almost a year in New Zealand in order to reduce/waive the Australia quarantine requirements). Otherwise, Australia has a 60 day quarantine.

All in all, the restrictions on "pre-quarantine", quarantine, months after last series of shots, etc. are quite complicated and have been known to severely restrict your cruising schedule/plans. People have done it with pets as most of us consider the pet as one of the family and would not "abandon" our "child". However, if you do not have such a fixed permanent relationship with the pet, giving it to somebody prior to entering the Pacific would make your cruising life in the Pacific a 1000 times simpler.
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pacific, south pacific

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