Part of quarantine station to be leased
What ever happened to the Animal Quarantine Station in Halawa?
Answer: The state Animal Quarantine Station is subdividing an underused part of the facility and preparing to lease that section sometime next spring, said program manager Dr. Isaac Maeda.
The Department of Agriculture will be looking for a lessee who will use the facilities for either animal quarantine, animal welfare or agricultural-related purposes.
Five acres of the 16-acre facility became available after new rules in 2003 made it easier to avoid quarantine and allowed animals to be released when they come into the state if their owners had the proper documents showing they were rabies-free.
Prior to this, all animals had to be quarantined for four months. In 1997, the rules were revised to 30 days if the animal had all the required documents and a microchip for identification.
According to Maeda, nearly 9,000 cats and dogs came to Hawaii last fiscal year, 7,550 of which qualified for direct release at the airport while 670 others were released from a shortened quarantine period (less than 120 days).
The fee for immediate release from the airport is $165, the 5-Day-or-Less Program is $224, and the full 120-day quarantine is $1,080.
The Department of Agriculture recently set up programs with private veterinarians in Lihue and Kona to allow pets that have the proper documentation ahead of time to fly directly to those airports, instead of stopping in Honolulu. Kahului will soon have this option, as well.
The rest of the facility, which isn't being occupied by quarantined animals, is used by the USDA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Hawaii Department of Agriculture Plant Quarantine and the military's Morale Welfare Recreation pet kennel program to house animals for military personnel.
For more information, visit www.hawaii.gov/hdoa/ai/aqs/ai_aqs/.
This update was written by Star-Bulletin reporter Brittany P. Yap.
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