Guide Dog Access Laws of the World

Australia

Information about the existence of guide dog access legislation in Australia was first discovered in the early 1990s when members of NAGDU and others in the Guide Dog Movement here in the U.S. learned that Australia had adopted regulations to allow those who use assistance dogs, including guide dogs to enter the country without their dogs having to under go the normal quarantine period. A system had been established that allows those who use such dogs to bring them in to Australia without the dog having to spend a period of 30 days in a quarantine station. This allows those who visit Australia on vacation, or who have moved to that country for other reasons to maintain their independence and freedom of mobility through the use of their guide dogs. Concurrently Australians wishing to travel abroad can now do so without their dogs having to undergo quarantine upon their return to Australia. A program called Quarantine Surveillance was established to allow assistance dogs to remain with their owners in order for them to maintain their independence while monitoring the dogs health to ensure that these animals would not bring diseases like Rabies in to Australia. This is the first instance of such a program offered to guide dog users although it may have been predated by similar arrangements in Sweden and Norway. New Zealand, and Hawaii have now adopted similar programs to permit greater freedom of travel for resident and non-resident guide dog users. As more information is added to our guide dog legislative archive and those countries are included a more definitive history of the evolution of this legislation will be created.

We are aware of a number of guide dog users who have flown between the United States and Australia as well as New Zealand, and South Africa whose dogs were allowed to remain with them in the passenger cabin for the long flight; about 14 hours or more between the Australian Main Land and the West Coast of the U.S. We have also heard of several individuals who have taken longer flights with their dogs. In all cases these trips went without incident. It requires proper planning to allow the dog to be kept comfortable for such long flights in order to remain with it's blind handler at all times, but when these precautions are taken it can be done. Unlike other nations whose quarantine laws require that all dogs, including assistance dogs fly in the cargo hold the provisions adopted by the Australia Quarantine and Inspection Service, (AQIS) allow, and even encourage assistance dogs to be kept with their owners on such long flights. It is hoped that in time countries such as the United Kingdom will adopt similar regulations under it's new PET Travel Scheme.

Like the United States Australia too has a federal anti-discrimination act, the Disability Discrimination Act, (DDA) that protects the rights of guide dog users to enter public establishments accompanied by their guide dogs as does the Americans With Disabilities Act in the United States. Similar legislation has been adopted in most, if not all of Australia's States and Territories. Several of them are included in this archive. We will be adding more later this year when they have been collected and submitted for inclusion in this archive. The guide dog movement is alive and well down under.

Australian Guide Dog Access Legislation

Australian National Guide Dog Access Legislation

Importation

Disability Discrimination Act

State/Territorial Guide Dog Access Laws

Australia Capitol Territory (Canberra)

New South Wales (Sydney)

West Australia (Perth)

For more information, contact

Marion Gwizdala
President
National Association of Guide Dog Users
(813) 626-2789
president@nfb-nagdu.org

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