Archived Articles : Moving to WA


As of July 2003, domestic ferrets (mustela putrious furo) are subject to a quarantine inspection when entering W.A. While domestic ferrets are permitted to enter the state, they have several close relatives which are not welcome (namely stoats and weasels).

The quarantine inspections are to ensure that only domestic ferrets are entering, and NOT stoats or weasels.

Cats, dogs and several other animals are NOT subject to inspection, as they are easily recognisable by air cargo staff. Ferrets ARE subject, as only specialists from quarantine / conservation departments have the expertise needed to identify between ferrets, stoats, weasels and other mustelids.

The inspections are done by WA Quarantine & Inspection Service (WAQIS), which is a part of the Department of Agriculture. The Department of Conservation and Land Management (CALM) may also assist with identification.

If WAQIS officers are unable to identify the species on the spot, they will not confiscate your pets. You will be directed to contact CALM to arrange a second inspection.

Inspections are free, but if you are travelling by air there are time restrictions.


Road checkpoints are in operation 24 hours / 7 days a week. There are road checkpoints at Eucla and Kununurra.

TRAVELLING BY AIR - Perth Domestic Airport

* To avoid delays, it is best to arrive in W.A. during business hours: 7:30am - 4:30pm Monday - Friday (not public holidays). WAQIS officers are usually present at the domestic airport between these times.

To arrange an inspection during business hours, phone (08) 9334 1802.

* Inspection officers are also available during on-call hours ( 4:30pm - 10:00pm M-F, and 8:00am - 10:00pm Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays ), but there may be delays.

To arrange an inspection during on-call hours, phone 0404 81 95 12.

* All other times (10:00pm - 7:30am M-F, and 10:00pm - 8:00am Saturdays, Sundays, public holidays), the animal(s) will be held under quarantine at the airport until an inspection officer is available.

Inspections will not be done during the above hours, but if the welfare of the animals being held in quarantine is of concern, phone 042 777 8313.


The WAQIS officer examines the container and animal/s; and will take digital photographs of all animals being imported.

The WAQIS officer will either identify the species on the spot, or refer the photograph to CALM for identification by specialists. Travellers then contact CALM the following day for clearance or a subsequent inspection (if CALM officers were unable to identify from the photograph).


Ferrets are not permitted to enter Australia from overseas.


WAFFS is happy to provide further advice or support, just contact us.