Are you based in the United States? We are on the East coast of the U.S. and planning to move to Australia in January. We were able to do the rabies neutralizing antibody titre test (RNATT) with our vet because they were a USDA accredited vet. Look on the USDA website for more info about finding an accredited vet (USDA APHIS | Pet travel from the U.S. to Australia). The vet took the blood and then sent to an approved lab for the test. I think there are only one or two labs performing the tests in the U.S. The test was around $500 and took 6 weeks for results. The 180 day count starts from when the lab receives the blood sample for the test. Before you do the RNATT you want to make sure your pet is up to date on their rabies vaccine, since antibodies can take a month to show up after vaccination. Our dog was up to date on his shots, and 1 year into his 3-year rabies vaccine and had no issues.I'm in the process of my 309/100 partner visa. But we have a dog. I already know about the quarantine and the long process it takes to even take a dog to Australia. The main issue I'm having is that it says that a rabies antibody test is required at least 180 days before entry, from an Australian Government approved veterinarian. The agriculture website talks endlessly about how to become an approved vet, but doesn't say, as far as I can tell, where you can find these approved vets to get the blood test. I'm already 3 months in on the visa process and I'm making the assumption that it'll be granted. Is there some resource that provides this information that I'm missing?
Once you get the RNATT results you can then apply for the permit, and then for a spot in quarantine. Pets need to spend 10 days in quarantine in Melbourne on arrival to Australia. Since there is only the one quarantine facility, it tends to book up about 2 months in advance. You will need to use a pet specialist to book your pets travel to Australia, and they will have to travel as manifest cargo. From what we gathered, all pets flying to Australia from the US go through LAX.
We decided to go with a pet relocation company to handle all the paperwork and logistics. We got quotes from several companies, but in the end went with Pet Express (Pet Express - Pet Transport & Delivery Services). They have been very helpful with walking us through the process, answering our questions, and getting the paperwork started. FYI it is going to cost nearly $10,000 to move our dog to Australia.