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Pet Transport: Horses travelling overseas, interstate
Travelling interstate with your horse needn't be stressful. Follow these hints to ensure your equine companion enjoys a safe, hassle-free trip.
- Consider a specialist pet transport company so your horse€s travel is handled by experts. They will ensure your pet is transported in air-conditioned comfort to and from the airport, and that all paperwork is done and quarantine requirements (link to horse quarantine article) are met.
- Ask your pet transporter about quarantine when moving your horse interstate or overseas. Depending on the destination, your animal will most likely have to spend some time in quarantine.
A reputable company will have an AQIS (Australian Quarantine Inspection Services) accredited vet, who will examine your horse before departure and sign the appropriate forms.
- Get your horse checked by an equine vet a week before departure, to ensure that he is in good health and that all vaccinations are up to date.
- Horses do not fly interstate like smaller pets, but are transported by road in horse floats or horse trucks. You travel consultant will arrange this.
- On the day, offer your animal food and water about four hours before taking him to the departure point.
- Keep calm. Keep the atmosphere on moving day as quiet and normal as possible. Horses are very sensitive to their owner's emotions, and if you are nervous or upset, they will be too.
- Once your horse has been checked for quarantine purposes, if necessary, and loaded into his float, walk away, quietly and calmly. Most animals settle down quickly, especially if there's a familiar rug in the horse float.
Your horse will travel in an air-conditioned truck to his destination. He will be checked at intervals, and his water replenished.
At the state border your horse will be given fresh water and a chance to exercise briefly before being cleared through Quarantine.
If he does not need quarantine, he will be taken on to his home in an air-conditioned van.
If he has to spend a period in quarantine, the pet transporter can arrange to collect your horse when he's free.
Sending horses overseas
Unless you are a racehorse owner, or thoroughbred equine stock breeder, transporting horses overseas is prohibitively expensive.
Horses must travel in special freight plane fitted out with stalls, similar to a horse float without wheels. Two or three horses travel together in each stall.
A groom or other person approved by the airline must travel with the horse or horses.
In terms of cost, you might find it preferable to sell or give away your horse before going overseas, and buy another one in your new country.
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