Importing dogs


Ratification Date: 08 Jul 2011

Position statement

Dogs being imported should be considered for behavioural assessment as well as physical examination before they are permitted to enter Australia.

Dogs should not be imported if they exhibit or carry behavioural characteristics that may inappropriately threaten the safety of human beings or other animals.

The establishment and enforcement of behavioural standards for all dogs whose owners apply for their importation into Australia is strongly supported. These standards should also apply to any genetic material imported with assessment of temperament of donors of semen, ova or embryos.

The Australian Veterinary Association (AVA) calls on the Australian government to change the importation regulations and permit conditions to satisfy the need for effective behavioural assessment of imported dogs.


Current behavioural restrictions on import requirements for dogs are based on specific breeds. A case-by-case assessment of individual dogs is a more effective means of preventing the importation of aggressive dogs and thereby protecting the community.


  1. http://www.daff.gov.au/biosecurity/cat-dogs (resource link updated 23 April 2014)

Other relevant policies and position statements

Aggression in dogs

Breed-specific legislation

Date of ratification by AVA Board 8 July 2011