First, if at all possible, consider leaving your pets in your home country with someone who will care for them well. Especially if it is a short visit.
Bringing pets is a stressful event for both you and your pet.
However, for many pets are family and leaving them is out of the question. If you have to bring your pet to Indonesia with you, read on to find out how.
Considerations for having pets in Indonesia
Before you bring your pets to Indonesia, please be aware of a few things:
- As Indonesia is predominantly Muslim country, dogs may be seen as unclean and may not be welcome everywhere.
- Indonesia does not have many pet friendly facilities, such as dog parks.
- Outside of areas with a significant expat population, taking your pets for a walk to go shopping or exercise is likely to draw a lot of attention.
- Thieves have been known to target expensive or exotic animals. Expensive is relative: a pure breed dog could be worth many months salary in Indonesia.
- A lot of cities in Indonesia are densely populated. Houses in urban areas are typically small and have limited yard space. Your pet may end up being stuck within the confines of your house.
- There are some areas of Indonesia currently dedicating resources to become rabies free. These areas are closed to importation of pets, even if manage to import your pet to Jakarta. These areas include Bali, Madura, the Nusa Tenggaras, Maluku, Irian Jaya, Kalimantan Barat, and parts of Sumatra. The status of these areas may change from time to time. Therefore you should double check what the current status is. Some agents may approach you with services to import your pet to these closed areas. To be sure, there are cases where this has been done successfully. There are also stories that do not end well. Either way, these agents are almost certainly breaking the law.
That being said, there are definitely many areas where pets are welcome, and many services and clubs are dedicated to the happiness of both pet and owner.
Navigating International Pet Importing Bureaucracy
Since the most common companion that people want to bring to Indonesia are dogs or cats, below is an outline on how to do it.
First of all: do not leave this to the last minute! It will take a lot of time to navigate the bureaucracy as well as to fulfill the requirements. In fact, start at least 3-4 months before your planned move to Indonesia.
Many people engage an agency that specializes in pet importation to help you with the paper work. Groovy Pets and JakPetz are the commonly used ones. Others are available as well. I have heard good things about both agencies, but I make no endorsement for them. They do charge a hefty sum, and US$750-1250 is the commonly quoted figure. This excludes any other fees you incur such as vet visit and vaccination.
Rabies Vaccination and Health Check
Your first stop should be to your regular vet. He should give a general check up and write out a health report/certificate. Make sure your pet has all the shots he needs. Rabies vaccination is the most important one.
You must provide proof of current rabies vaccination within a specified time frame. This means no sooner than 30 days before your pet enters Indonesia, but no later than 12 months.
In practice you’ll want to do the vaccination at least 2 months before your travel date because you need to get a rabies titer test. The titer test should be done at least 30 days AFTER the rabies vaccination to ensure antibodies have built up. However, you will want to allot more time, because usually the test results have to be sent to a specialized lab for interpretation.
You will need an import license from the Indonesian Directorate of Livestock and Animal Health, Ministry of Agriculture. This is probably where your agent can help the most.
If you rather do it yourself, you can request the import license by writing a request letter to:
Departemen Pertanian (Ministry of Agriculture)
Up. Direktorat Jenderal Peternakan, Direktorat Kesehatan Binatang
Jl. Harsono RM No. 3, Ragunan
Provide specification of the pets (name, race, age, color and any other marks) in the request letter. Also provide a health certificate from a veterinarian, vaccination book and a rabies vaccination certificate from veterinarian that is still valid at least 1 month before departing to Indonesia. You may have to get these documents legalized at the nearest Indonesian embassy/consulate. The Ministry of Agriculture may take up to 30 days to issue you an import license.
Veterinary Health Certificate
You will need to obtain a Veterinary Health Certificate from your local governing agency. In the US, contact the USDA, in Canada the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA). Here is a sample from the CFIA so you know what to look for. For other countries, please inquire with the equivalent department. Some countries don’t have a standardized form, so may draw one up for you. The importation agent, if you are using one, should be able to guide you.
The Veterinary Health Certificate must state that the pet has no clinical signs of Aujossky’s disease, Distemper, Rabies, Leishmaoiasis, Leptospirosis and Tuberculosis.
The Veterinary Health Certificate will need to be filled out within 5 days of travel: first by your regular vet including all the information regarding the Rabies vaccine, then it has to be endorsed by an official government vet.
Make sure to bring your vaccination records and the results of the rabies titer test, and all other documents, so that the government vet may refer to them.
Indonesia does not require pets to have microchip implants. Still, it is a good idea to get it for two reasons:
- To identify your pet if somehow you become separated in transit
- Potentially, to export your pet at a later date to another country. Obtaining microchips in Indonesia may not be easy.
Air Travel with pets
Important: Pets should enter Indonesia by air through Soekarno-Hatta International Airport (CGK) only.
Contact airlines to find out their pet policy. Not all airlines are pet friendly, and the last thing you want to do is book tickets for you first, then find out later that they are not great with pets. From the EU, lots of people like KLM. If you are coming from the Asia Pacific region, Korean Air. Both allow small pets in carriers in-cabin.
Some airlines do not permit animals in the cabin, all have restrictions on size, and many permit only one animal to be in the cabin per flight.
Make sure your pet-carrier complies with the airlines pet policy.
Try to get flights that are as direct as possible.
Some countries require a transit permit for pets. Inquire with your airline.
Larger pets need to travel in the cargo hold. Nowadays virtually all commercial airlines climate control and pressurize the cargo hold to the same level of the passenger cabin. However, a pet sent through the cargo hold is subject to a weather embargo – meaning that if you depart on a very cold or hot day, the airline may refuse to take your pet out due to concerns for its health while on the tarmac.
Get your pet used to the pet carrier by crate training them months in advance.
Do a price comparison with the different airlines. The cost of shipping a pet in the cargo hold can vary significantly depending on whether you are on the same or a different flight.
Quarantine in Jakarta
Seven days before departure, contact the Quarantine at Soekarno-Hatta airport at the address below to inform them of your arrival.
After arriving in Jakarta and clearing the airport, you can go see your pet at the quarantine area. A 14 day quarantine is mandatory. You can visit your pet during this time, and I’m sure you will want to. They are right in the middle of the airport. The address is:
Gedung Karantina Pertanian
Bandara International Soekarno Hatta
Kota Tangerang, Banten 15126
Tel : KH: +62-21-550 79 31
Fax : +62-21-550 79 30
Email : [email protected]
- If during the quarantine period your pet needs additional testing, you will be responsible for the fees
- Your pet will be euthanized if found with the H3N2 virus
- Pets can not be pregnant or nursing
- Pets must be at least 4 months old
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