***Mods, before you move this to the Exporting Pets out of Taiwan sticky thread, please note that the vast majority of the information in that particular thread is about taking a pet to North America, which is, I have discovered, very different from taking a pet to South Africa.***
Maybe you could make this one a sticky?
Anyway, to cut a long story short, I found a tiny stray kitten in the street a few months ago. It was terribly skinny and covered with fleas, and I wasn't sure what I was going to do with it, but I couldn't just leave it there. I got it cleaned up, (and fattened up
) , and she's a lot healthier looking now, and quite an affectionate, not to mention playful little thing. I've fostered a few strays here, and it's always been heartbreaking to part with them when it was time to send them to a permanent home. This time i just couldn't do it - so I decided that I was going to keep this one. I'm going home in July, and as such have started to look into how things are done getting a pet into South Africa.
Unfortunately, the process is far, far more complicated and costly than it seems to be to take a pet to Canada or the US.
I looked at a few government websites, and it turns out that you CANNOT bring a pet into South Africa as manifest (booked) cargo, NOT hand luggage or excess luggage. If you do that, the animal will be denied entry and sent back to the country of origin. This means that the airline fee will be pretty steep for the animal.
Dogs require a quarantine period of 3 weeks, cats require a quarantine period of 14 days.
Dogs and cats need to be vaccinated against rabies before they enter the country, and MUST be microchipped.
A variety of import and quarantine papers, requiring a notice period of 5-8 weeks prior to departure are needed. F**cking beauracracy.
I contacted a pet shipping company in South Africa who handle all of this. they quoted me around NT20,000.
On top of this, that's ONLY for the SA side of things... They said I will also need to get hold of an agent over here (in Taiwan) to organise for the pet to be transported out of Taiwan. More $$, more hassle.
Then, there is the additional problem of the fact that there are no direct flights to SA from Taiwan; all require inter-airline transfers. And most airlines seem to have very different policies about the transporting of pets.
I really don't know what I can do, short of finding my poor kitten a new home here...
If any South Africans here have had a different experience, please let me know ASAP.