Moving to Mauritius: The pet- friendly version11th Dec 2020
The process of relocating pets can be tricky but, with some careful planning, it need not be stressful nor worrying. Here is everything you need to know and do to make sure your four-legged friends are able to join you in your new life in Mauritius.
Check that your pet is permitted in Mauritius
South Africa is deemed rabies-controlled or rabies-free by the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) and so almost any type of pet can be relocated to Mauritius, including birds, invertebrates, tropical fish, reptiles, amphibia, mammals such as rodents and even rabbits. The only exceptions are American Pit Bull Terriers, Japanese Tosas, American Staffordshire Terriers, Dogo Argentinos, Staffordshire Terriers, Fila Brasileiros, Blue Nose Pit Bulls, Boerboels and Red Nose Pit Bulls. These breeds of dogs are not permitted in Mauritius.
In order to bring your pet into Mauritius, you will need to show that they have been continuously living with you, as a pet, for a minimum of six consecutive months in South Africa and have been vaccinated.
Vaccinate at least a year before you leave
The Mauritian government requires that all dogs and cats be vaccinated prior to relocating to Mauritius. Vaccinations for rabies must be taken between two months and a year before entry. If your pet has already been vaccinated, they will still be required to have a booster shot between a month and six months before entry.
Dogs should also be vaccinated against canine distemper, leptospirosis, infectious canine hepatitis, and canine parvovirus. Cats should be vaccinated against feline enteritis, feline rhinotracheitis, and feline calicivirus. Your pets must also be treated for internal and external parasites.
Make sure that all vaccinations are done by a licensed veterinarian, and ask them to provide you with an official letter to confirm that they were compliant with relevant regulations. This letter needs to be issued within 48 hours of departure.
Pets also need to be microchipped with an ISO 11784/11785-compliant chip. This must be a 15-digit, non-encrypted microchip that must be scanned by your veterinarian immediately after it has been implanted.
Get the right approvals
You will need to obtain an import permit from the Ministry of Agro-Industry and Food Security in Mauritius at least three to six months before you leave. You can find the application form and relevant guidelines here. An import fee of MUR 500 will be payable per animal. The permit will give a date by which your pet must arrive in Mauritius. If you fail to meet this date, the permit will be cancelled and you will have to apply for a new one, and pay the relevant fees again.
Your pet will only be allowed entry into Mauritius after the Veterinary Officer of Mauritius has approved the permit. Again, a veterinary clearance fee of MUR 500 will be charged per animal, at the time of application.
You will need to notify the Veterinary Officer of your arrival date and time, as well as your chosen port of entry at least three days before you leave South Africa. You can find more information and their contact details here.
Be prepared for quarantine
Once cleared, your pet must be quarantined at a specific site in Beau Bassin-Rose Hill, a town in the Plaines Wilhems District of Mauritius. The period of quarantine can vary from a few days to a month.
It is a good idea to call ahead and book a slot at the site, as it can get very busy. Also bear in mind that there are additional charges for a kennel and food, which will be settled at the end of the quarantine period. There is usually a daily fee for food, but you are also able to buy your own food in Mauritius and drop it at the site with your pet. You will also be able to visit your pet during the quarantine period, during specified visiting times.