We are Australian families who returned home due to the escalating situation with COVID-19 and have been unable to bring our beloved pets with us.
Despite paying for the necessary and required vet checks, Australian Government permits and transport vendors months ago - we are unable to get them home.
Our furry family members remain stranded overseas, unable to land directly into Melbourne where Australia's only quarantine facility is located.
Our mission is to bring them home!
Cats and dogs entering Australia must undergo a quarantine period. In 2015, the Federal Government shut quarantine facilities outside of Victoria. Now the country's only quarantine facility is in Mickleham, Melbourne.
When COVID-19 hit, thousands of families returned to Australia upon Government advice. At that time, we also booked and paid for our beloved pets to go into the quarantine facility, paid accredited pet transporters, as well as, carried out the necessary vet checks on their animals.
However, getting a flight directly to the city where the country's only quarantine facility is located has not been possible - resulting in pets being stranded abroad for months.
The dire and costly situation is worsening with the cancellation of international flights into Melbourne and the state now in shutdown.
We are desperately pleading with the Federal Government for compassion and pragmatism to prevent these animals from being stranded overseas for the foreseeable future.
We are asking the Government to overcome red tape for a workable solution at this unprecedented time - which also complies with the important biosecurity requirements.
We have approached airlines and come up with the following pragmatic solutions to address this situation, which have been put forward to the Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management David Littleproud and his department:
Given the dynamic nature of COVID-19, the rising cases in Victoria, increased demand on the nation's only quarantine facility and no international flights that meet the department's restrictions - we are appealing for compassion and pragmatism from Minister Littleproud and his department to work with us on the solutions put forward.
We thank our national carrier, Qantas who stand willing to help Australian families be reunited with their stranded pets. We hope the Federal Government and Minister Littleproud can show some compassion and pragmatism, and help us bring our stranded pets home.
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