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Old 12-05-2018, 08:24 PM   #1
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Picking up my kitty from evil government quarantine

Last night I got a message saying work was cancelled today and tomorrow. Or rather I only need to work the last four hours of each 12 hour shift.... and today marks our one month back in China which means my wife and I can go get our cat out of jail!

For a couple weeks anytime I felt a bump under the blanket I would assume it was her. Really she has suffered the ultimate betrayal and being an overly sentimental tree-hugger didn't help me feel any less sensitive to this. We dragged her across the world, twice. Through security and customs and she was a good cat. That was after we moved houses a few times in the few years we have had her. She had been so brave and then one day, on our way back we dropped her box off with strangers and never picked her up again.

Crying at the airport they told us that she would be given a four level cage but this being China I don't believe it. They wouldn't show us pictures or allow visits. If I could find evidence of the mistreatment I assume happens whenever low paid people are tasked with something delicate like the care of another being I would do my best to cause an international controversy. At the very least she must have been fed terrible food... But right now I am just happy to get my kitty back.

They told us she wouldn't be given medicine and neither would there be any actual testing... so why did they force us to give her up? My first assumption was it was a way for the government to tax people coming into the country but they quarantine was free of charge.

wtf?
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:33 PM   #2
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Originally Posted by Pizza_Cant_Read View Post
Last night I got a message saying work was cancelled today and tomorrow. Or rather I only need to work the last four hours of each 12 hour shift.... and today marks our one month back in China which means my wife and I can go get our cat out of jail!

For a couple weeks anytime I felt a bump under the blanket I would assume it was her. Really she has suffered the ultimate betrayal and being an overly sentimental tree-hugger didn't help me feel any less sensitive to this. We dragged her across the world, twice. Through security and customs and she was a good cat. That was after we moved houses a few times in the few years we have had her. She had been so brave and then one day, on our way back we dropped her box off with strangers and never picked her up again.

Crying at the airport they told us that she would be given a four level cage but this being China I don't believe it. They wouldn't show us pictures or allow visits. If I could find evidence of the mistreatment I assume happens whenever low paid people are tasked with something delicate like the care of another being I would do my best to cause an international controversy. At the very least she must have been fed terrible food... But right now I am just happy to get my kitty back.

They told us she wouldn't be given medicine and neither would there be any actual testing... so why did they force us to give her up? My first assumption was it was a way for the government to tax people coming into the country but they quarantine was free of charge.

wtf?
That's awful. I'm truly sorry for you and your kitty, Pizza.

Perhaps the quarantine is because of rabies? That's lethal for humans too. I know that other countries have a quarantine requirement because of that.

I would never travel to another country with my cats, if I had to give them away for a month. I would literally go mad while waiting and probably plant a bomb somewhere...
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Old 12-05-2018, 08:38 PM   #3
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I would imagine it's to make sure shes's free of any communicable diseases. Although if they don't test for anything, how do they really know?

Ages ago, about 30 years, we had friends that spent a year in China. My father delighted in packing care packages for them. He'd keep an inventory of the contents and mail it off in a letter. Box would go by surface mail. It was always interesting to hear what had made it thru customs and what they'd removed from the boxes.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:19 PM   #4
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While I can understand the pain of having a pet in quarantine it seems to me that China's requirements were fair and easy. And especially so in comparison to many countries.

In my own country, New Zealand, generally speaking all cats imported (except those from Australia) have to undergo quarantine and a permit to import has to be obtained. Cats coming from rabies free countries (or where rabies is well controlled) are generally only quarantined for 10 days if they pass a vet's inspection on arrival. BUT for the quarantine to be that short the cat must have been under a strict 6 month regime of veterinary supervision, mandatory vaccinations, and treatments for internal and external parasites prior to departure from its home country. The cat has also to have been microchipped prior and the chip reading entered on each vet visit's documentation (to avoid substitution of pets). All that has to be supervised and documented only by NZ Government approved vet's in the country the cat departs from.

If the cat arrives with incorrect documentation or if the above requirements have not been met, or it does not come from a rabies free (or well controlled) country then the cat has to be quarantined for 6 months. I am not aware of the current situation but some years back helping arrange very long flights from Europe for 2 cats via USA (so about the longest journey possible), they had to stay in the same aircraft all the way including during the refueling, freight, and passenger loading, etc., stopover in the USA - the cats were checked at that time. Interestingly, once the cats' flight was booked they had priority over all other freight except for zoo animals.

The quarantine premises here are privately owned and one can choose which one (but there are only a few available). Usually, they will allow visitors but it is often thought to not be a good idea as after each visit the cat (and some owners) may go through separation anxiety. So I am not surprised that you were not allowed visits in China.

I don't know where you departed from, but if it was the USA then, just as an example, if coming to NZ you would have had to go through 6 months of various predeparture veterinary treatments and supervisions and obtain a permit prior to the cat's departure. Subject to a satisfactory vet's inspection on arrival and all required 6 month prearrival surveillance and documentation in order the cat would only be required to be quarantined for 10 days. USA is not rabies free (but is well controlled) so if the cat's inspection and documentation were not in order I would expect that the cat could be deported or would be subject to up to 6 months quarantine.

If you departed from China to NZ, just as another example, the cat would likely be quarantined for 6 months.

I have a little familiarity with Australia and Papua New Guinea and as far as I know they have requirements somewhat similar to NZ (I am unsure but I think the UK is also much the same for cats coming from countries outside of the EU pet passport zone - maybe someone knows?).

Here the main health concerns for arriving cats are rabies, internal and external parasites, and canine influenza (which affects cats as well as dogs and is highly contagious). Rabies is not regarded as well controlled in China but even so I would suspect that they would be concerned about its possible arrival in China in imported cats, as well as parasites and canine influenza. If, for example, China did not require any long period of veterinary surveillance and treatments for your cat prior to your departure to China I would have thought that 1 months quarantine in lieu of that was extremely reasonable and their requirement of that should not be complained about by any responsible cat owner.

Last edited by AnotherCat; 12-05-2018 at 10:39 PM.
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Old 12-05-2018, 10:32 PM   #5
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I can understand the strict requirements in island countries. But what's the point in others? The wild animals go back and forth over borders all the time without any veterinary inspection.

This discussion reminds me of that Bulgarian cow who was sentenced to death because she wandered over the nearby Serbian border. Luckily her life was spared after a big international fuss was raised about it in media.
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Old 12-05-2018, 11:26 PM   #6
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I can understand the strict requirements in island countries. But what's the point in others? The wild animals go back and forth over borders all the time without any veterinary inspection...
Well it is not only island nations that have sea boarders between countries that pets are transported between - continents have sea borders too. Just for example, the USA and China, or Estonia and Chile are not island nations and wild animals (except birds) cannot go back and forwards over the border. So an imported pet can be the vector for the introduction of new diseases and parasites.

Even within a continent there are natural barriers such as climate, mountains, etc., that prevent movement of wild animals so disease and parasites will not be in common across it. Consider, for example the differentiation of wild animal populations and their diseases and parasites found across the whole Asia/European land mass.

Also, in most nations domesticated animals are somewhat differentiated. So, for example, where rabies exists in the wild population it may be regarded as well controlled in the domestic pet population and a country trying to control rabies may rightly consider that pets entering be rabies free either by veterinary inspection (as for cats arriving in the mainland USA) or quarantine.

Where there is a common border that presents no barrier to wild animals between two countries on small landmasses then I agree that the control of entry of pets between those two countries becomes less stringent. But even then there are usually controls. For example even within Europe where there are many common borders between countries, often of very small land area, there are controls. For example, the EU which Estonia is a member of has the EU pet passport which allows passage across borders of cats and dogs due to the vaccination (including rabies) and other health requirements met and documented within it.

I don't know what specific diseases and parasites China may be concerned about with respect to the original poster's cat and its port of origin, or for what reason, one would have to ask China that, but they certainly have the right and are sensible to have controls. If you think you know better than China what is best for China I suggest you go and tell them, rather than tell me .

EDIT: I've just been told that entry of cats to China requires quarantine of 7 to 30 days dependent on the rabies status of the country of origin (rabies is widespread in China). The cat must be vaccinated for rabies at least 30 days and within one year prior to departure (with all the vaccine details recorded) so rabies entry into the domestic cat population would seem to be a concern - possibly in part due to the low rates of vaccination of domestic cats and dogs meaning control of vectors, such as an imported infected cat or dog, into local populations is very important? My friend said that as far as they know that is ex any country, including bordering ones. On the face of it, it would seem that the original poster came from a non-rabies free country.

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Old 12-06-2018, 12:35 AM   #7
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We took the subways as close to the the pickup location near the airport as they would allow and took a taxi the last few kilometers. I heard her meowing down the hall as the old shu shu brought her to us in her cat carrier. Surprisingly the place was practically empty. We arrived, signed in at the gate, entered the building and found a lone lady in an administrative office. She brought us to a reception room where we waited about 15 minutes. Meantime she provided a form stating everything was fine. I was anxious because my wife needed to do the paperwork and I wanted to know precisely what we were assenting to but surprisingly it was only a single form.

The same car was waiting outside and he brought us home. As soon as we were in the cab I did my best to help her relax and get comfortable. She was still meowing quite loudly but I opened her cage and she spent most of the time hiding in my oversized wind breaker, between my body and the seat. She calmed down 20 minutes into our journey and I am sure other cat owners can appreciate how much that helped us! When we got home I zipped it up and carried her up stairs in the back of my coat ;D

She was a rescue cat from the streets of a hutong near the Lama Temple. She was well cared for, received vet care, was chipped and vaccinated but unlike pandas she was treated as just another laowai when she came back to China a few months later. Animals are not safe in China. Sure, people here like cute videos but generally speaking animals are a possession which hold only a value relative to how much you can sell them for. Everyone knows the Guilin Dog Meat Festival and even domestic cats frequently vanish! It is a different culture but I wouldn't be here if I didn't see it changing, differences between each generation being quite stark. Beijing for example has a number of vegans, animal rights activists and others across the spectrum. Though it is not the norm that sort of awareness is encouraging. Even my wife who grew up in Hong Kong was afraid of kittens the first time she was confronted with them! Funny enough because that was at an establishment trying to attract Westerners. Chinese trying to sell us things are catching on fast... we like cats :-]

We had brutal fights about the place animals would have in our household and the respect they should be accorded. Less animal friendly people would accuse some of us of caring too much about animals but I believe it isn't how much we care about animals that is the problem, the ideal should be to use that love as a metric for how much more we can care about each other. We each have a different capacity according to how much 'extra' money have to support the causes we believe in and help those in need but the point is not to love one group more than others. It is to challenge ourselves to be more egalitarian and share that love more freely.

I am rambling now. Happy to report that my wife loves our cat as much as I do and actually does the majority of work taking care of her. Feel her example really vindicates my theory that having animals and learning to empathize with them helps us self-actualize the best part of ourselves

Here are just a few random pictures. The most interesting of which is the propaganda picture... looks really official, definitely encourages faith in the system!

Last edited by Pizza_Cant_Read; 12-06-2018 at 02:07 AM.
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Old 12-06-2018, 12:52 AM   #8
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Tried to get pictures up with the last post and failed. Gave it a shot with a VPN and without so it is likely an issue with Safari.

Anyhow thanks everyone for the kind words! I checked the forum on my phone but couldn't respond in transit because my phone wasn't signed in. Mama is cuddling underneath my legs as I lay in bed on my computer and the humans are about to eat lunch.

Really worked out not needing to go in this morning. And still have a few hours to hang out!

Edit: It was my bad. Attachments were too big. I resized the poster and just left out the others. We all have cats so I am sure you can imagine what mine looks like ;P
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:09 AM   #9
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Glad you got your kitty back whole and well.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:10 AM   #10
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...She was a rescue cat from the streets of a hutong near the Lama Temple. She was well cared for, received vet care, was chipped and vaccinated but unlike pandas she was treated as just another laowai when she came back to China a few months later...
What country had you taken her to from Beijing - she seems to be a well travelled cat?

Here in New Zealand it is the same, if one takes ones cat out of the country it is treated as a laowai too if one brings it back. Then has to go through quarantine. For that reason not many people do so.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:13 AM   #11
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Well it is not only island nations that have sea boarders...
Thank you for your thorough explanation. You seem to know the subject really well.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:25 AM   #12
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It identifies me to those who may know me on another forum, but we went to Egypt This cat has seen the freakin pyramids! We didn't plan on coming back, but life threw some punches and we rolled with it.

The quarantine itself wasn't unexpected but we really expected visitation rights and planned to go once or twice a week to make sure she had good food and was comfortable.They didn't even want our food. Weren't even allowed to bring it in actually, so me and Han Solo have that much in common haha.

Hong Kong has a four month requirement. It would suck but at least the owner comes in and cares for their animal. I can see that inconveniencing some but I am sure there are agents who can do so if needed. Why wouldn't they let us see her? Why not save some money and follow Hong Kong's example? Pretty certain it is a facilities issue and the generic poster with the duct tape on top says it all, in my mind anyhow.

I brought her to a 'reputed' vet when she was neutered and I saw a sneak peak of what happened behind the scenes and now I have trust issues with everyone. I am a teacher in China, I see how businesses cut corners with real kids...

Oh well, time to move on.
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Old 12-06-2018, 01:33 AM   #13
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I suspect that there are not many cats that have gone to Egypt and back .

Am glad to hear that she is doing well back in your care.
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Old 12-06-2018, 03:18 AM   #14
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Australia declared War on Hollywood Terriers

Heard and Depp fined for bringing their dogs to Australia

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Old 12-06-2018, 03:39 PM   #15
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We have pet quarantine here in Hawaii as well since we are rabies free. Exceptions are other rabies free countries like Australia, New Zealand, and I believe Ireland. Requirements have been relaxed somewhat in the last few years if documentation of vet care can be presented, but there is still a minimum time. A few weeks rather than the months that it used to be.

I'm reminded of some years ago when I had a friend who was a sea captain (Master) of a large oil tanker. Carl had a cat that he kept on his ship for company, and the quarantine gestapo caught wind of it. They actually demanded to board the ship and impound the cat, in defiance of international maritime law.

Carl stationed an armed guard at the gangway and dared them to try it.
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