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Moving with your pet to Malaysia

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If you have a cat or a dog with which you cannot part, then transporting your pet to Malaysia will be a main concern. Regulations vary depending from which country you are travelling, the type of pet you have and its state of health, so it's best to enquire with your nearest Malaysian embassy and a pet travel specialist before proceeding.

Malaysia is considered a rabies-controlled country. However, in 2015 rabies outbreaks were reported in three northern states Perlis, Kedah and Penang, so do be aware that pets travelling to or from these areas may be subject to titer requirements if they travel on to another country after their stay.

There are no restrictions on the number of domesticated pets that you can import, but you do need to bear in mind what will be permitted at your chosen accommodation in Malaysia.

Certain animals, such as reptiles and rabbits, do not require rabies vaccinations, but they do still need to have a health certificate.

Restrictions on pets entering Malaysia

If you have an unusual pet, you should verify whether it is protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES), and you will need to apply for additional permits if it is.

No birds of any kind are allowed to enter Malaysia, and puppies and kittens must be at least three months old before they enter.

Malaysia will not allow some dog breeds to enter the country. The following breeds are banned: American pit bull, pit bull terrier, pit bull, American staffordshire terrier, staffordshire bull terrier, American bulldog, neapolitan mastiff, Japanese tosa, akita, dogo argentino and fila brasileiro.

Certain breeds are allowed to enter Malaysia, so long as the owners make an official written application to the Director of State Veterinary Services in advance, outlining all the dog's details and relocation plans. These breeds are: rottweiler, doberman pinscher, German shepherd, Belgian shepherd, East European shepherd, bull mastiff, bull terrier and perro de presa canario.

Entry requirements

The following procedure applies to accepted breeds of domestic dogs and cats travelling to Malaysia:

1. Your pet must first be microchipped with a 15-digit, non-encrypted ISO 11784 microchip. If the microchip is not ISO 11784 compliant, then you should bring your own microchip scanner with you.

2. Your pet must travel with an import license that has been issued by the Director General of Veterinary Services or the State Director. A licensed agent can apply for this online for you, and it is valid for 30 days from date of issue.

3. No rabies titer test (RNATT) is required for pets entering from any country. However, your dog or cat must be vaccinated for rabies between 30 days and 12 months before its entry into Malaysia.

Dogs must also be vaccinated for distemper, hepatitis, leptospirosis, parovirus and parainfluenza, while cats must also be vaccinated for feline panleukopenia, viral rhinotracheitis, calicivirus and leukemia.

4. If traveling from the United States or Canada, a USDA- or CFIA-accredited veterinarian must complete your pet's veterinary certificate within seven days of import for endorsement by the USDA or CFIA. If you are not travelling from either of these countries, the certificate must be endorsed by the governing authority in your country that is responsible for the import and export of animals. Your pet must then travel with this vaccination certificate that details all of the vaccinations administered by your veterinarian.

5. Pets must travel to Malaysia as air cargo and be declared to the Animal Quarantine Officer upon landing for entry clearance.

All domestic dogs and cats must be free of evidence of contagious disease when examined at the port of entry to Malaysia. If your dog or cat does not appear to be in good health, further examination by a licensed veterinarian may be conducted at your expense.

Quarantine

If your pet is entering Malaysia from the United Kingdom, Ireland, New Zealand, Japan, Brunei or Singapore, no quarantine is necessary if all requirements are met. However, additional requirements need to be met by owners travelling with pets from Singapore.

If your pet is entering Malaysia from any other country, it shall be placed in quarantine for at least seven days (10 days if coming from Australia). Your pet will be released if found to be free of any evidence of infection. However, where deemed necessary, the quarantine period can be extended up to six months on a case-to-case basis.

All cats and dogs requiring quarantine must enter Malaysia at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in KL, Senai International Airport in Johor Bahru, Labuan International Airport in Labuan, or Bayan Lepas International Airport in Penang. Reservations for quarantine facilities must be made at least two weeks in advance, as quarantine facilities are often full. Pet owners will be responsible for the care of their dog or cat while in quarantine.

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Pet Travel

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