Namely, because the biosecurity risks have not been assessed and managed, animals are typically not allowed to board and travel on cruise vessels under biosecurity control.

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In recognition of the critical, ongoing and dependent relationship between eligible assistance dogs and their handlers, Australia has established a process to allow eligible assistance dogs to travel with their handlers on cruise vessels between Australian ports where the vessel is under biosecurity control.

If the cruise vessel enters another country’s waters, any assistance dogs on board are considered to have been exported to that country, and all Australian and foreign import and export requirements must be met.

For most countries this is not possible while onboard a cruise vessel; New Zealand is an exception. If the assistance dog will be travelling on the cruise vessel to New Zealand then it must also be prepared for export to New Zealand, and if it is to return, after arrival in New Zealand it must be prepared for export back to Australia.

There has been no further change to the situation for other animals, as they must not travel on vessels under biosecurity control.