Quarantine means keeping an animal in a separate area for a certain time. It is part of a country’s border control and is designed to keep rabies and other diseases out of a country.
Some countries’ quarantine requirements are extremely strict – notably the UK and Australia – and very expensive. For instance, the UK has a six-month quarantine period during which the animal will be kept separately. And, of course, you have to pay for all of the animal’s time in quarantine.
The word ‘quarantine’ originates from the Venetian dialect form of the Italian quaranta giorni, meaning ‘forty days’. This is due to the 40-day isolation of ships and people before entering the city of Dubrovnik in Croatia. This was practiced as a measure of disease prevention related to the Black Death in the 14th century.
You must also consider the animal’s best interests. How well will they cope with being away from you and in a quarantine environment for six months, particularly for an older animal? Then there is the potential for cross-infection from another animal in quarantine.
This site has some good information on the quarantine process. But it charges a fee for some of the information – which may be freely available online elsewhere.