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New Zealand is geographically lucky in that its distance from the rest of world and ocean borders make it easier to prevent new diseases and pests from entering the country.

The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry (MAF) is responsible for protecting the welfare of New Zealand’s environment; flora, fauna and marine life. The regulations surrounding bringing any animals, including your much loved pets, are very strict to protect that which we already have here.

There are a wide variety of regulations about bringing your pets to New Zealand depending on what type of animal it is and where you are bringing it from. Specific information can be found at

In general it is possible to bring your cat, dog even horse to New Zealand, however, it is not possible to bring pet birds, reptiles or rodents. Pet rabbits may only be brought over if they are from Australia, from all other countries they are banned. New Zealand is trying to stop known dangerous breeds of dogs from entering the country and (controversially) from being bred. American Pit Bulls, Dogo Agrentino, Japanese Tosa and Brazilian Fila’s are illegal to import.

If you are bringing your pet cat or dog from a rabie free country – Australia, the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Norway, Hawaii and Singapore – they will not be required to undergo a quarantine period, however, they will be inspected for ticks on arrival and to have certification. Cats and dogs from other countries where rabies is absent or well maintained will require certification and some sort of quarantine period, usually 30 days. Cats and dogs from South Africa require 120 days of quarantine, a long period for both pet and owner! Specific information on Import Health Standards for your pet can be found at

There are only five MAF registered quarantine facilities in New Zealand for cats and dogs, three in the Auckland area, one in Levin, near the bottom of the North Island and one in Christchurch. If your pet requires a quarantine period you must have a letter from the facility to say they will accept your pet for its quarantine period before leaving your home country. Whilst in quarantine you may visit as often as you like, you can arrange this with the owner of the facility direct. For full contact details of these facilities go to

All dogs and cats (with the exception of those from Australia) are required to have a microchip inserted before starting the vaccination and/or testing requirements for importation. Two rabies tests are required, one no less than 6 months and no more than 12 months before departure, the second being within 30 days of the scheduled travel date.

A Zoosanitary certificate must be issued by a government registered veterinarian for a pet who travels from a country which requires a quarantine period on arrival in New Zealand.

It can be more expensive to have your pet travel to New Zealand than for you to come and you will need to budget for all costs: importation permit, clearance fees, quarantine stay, transportation, and immunisation and vet fees.

For a Fact Sheet full of frequently asked questions regarding the importation of pets to New Zealand please see or your local immigration consultants New Zealand for more information about pets.

Category Immigration Consultants | Posted on Thursday, July 29th, 2010


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