SINAGPORE-A new online portal launched yesterday by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) is set to make it far smoother for pet owners to bring their animals into Singapore.
Called the Quarantine Management System, the website allows owners to book space for their pets at the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station (SAQS) up to six months before arrival. The approval process takes three working days, and if approved, a slot can be confirmed immediately.
The new portal at qms.ava.gov.sg will also be updated in real time, which will tell pet owners how many slots are still available.
Previously, quarantine requests could only be made through mail, fax or e-mail. While such applications could also be submitted up to half a year in advance, the availability of quarantine space could only be confirmed 30 days before a pet's arrival.
Relocation firms that help foreign executives in their move here applauded the initiative for its convenience.
Astro Worldwide Movers chief executive David Pan said the previous 30-day notice was too short and could disrupt travel plans if quarantine space was unavailable.
The portal will also make it easier for Singaporeans returning home with their pets after being overseas.
AVA figures show that more dogs and cats have been quarantined over the last three years - from 986 in 2010 to almost 1,200 in the first 11 months of this year.