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Post-arrival veterinary checks in New Zealand

New Zealand is a rabies-free country and is also free from several pests and diseases that are commonly found in other parts of the world. To safeguard the local flora and fauna from exotic and rare diseases, New Zealand has the most stringent pet import regulations. All dogs and cats must fulfil all import criteria to be able to enter the country.

Upon arrival into the country, a quarantine officer will examine your pet thoroughly. Your pet dog or cat must be free from any health issues, including the presence of parasites, fleas or flea dirt, and have complete documentation to be able to enter the country. If you are travelling to New Zealand with your pet, here’s what you should know about the post-arrival checks in New Zealand.

Checks for pet dogs and cats arriving from Australia

Pet dogs and cats travelling from Australia are not required to go into quarantine. You will need to notify MPI (Ministry of Primary Industries) at least five working days before your pet dog or cat arrives in New Zealand. Once your pet lands in New Zealand, an MPI vet will inspect your pet. If your pet meets all import requirements, they will be immediately cleared to enter the country.

The inspection takes place Monday through Friday, except on public holidays and between Christmas and New Year. The inspection times are:

  • Auckland – 7 am to 7 pm
  • Christchurch – 1 pm to 5 pm

If your pet does not pass the inspection successfully or is not compliant with all the requirements, he or she will be sent to a quarantine facility for further tests at the owner’s cost.

Checks for pet dogs and cats arriving from countries other than Australia

Pet dogs and cats from countries classified as Category 2 and 3 will be taken to an approved quarantine facility on arrival. An MPI vet will inspect your pet within 72 hours of arriving at the facility.

The vet will conduct a thorough inspection to check if your pet is healthy. If your dog or cat is unwell, his or her quarantine is likely to be extended. If your pet needs medical intervention, the quarantine centre will arrange for a vet to visit your pet. Medical treatment and further testing will be conducted at your expense.

Avoid exposure to exotic diseases before flying to New Zealand. Your pet will be treated as having the disease if exposed to contagious diseases. Tests and treatments are charged extra, and quarantine time will be extended.

Checks for ectoparasites

New Zealand has strict biosecurity rules about ectoparasites such as fleas and ticks. If your pet dog or cat is found to have fleas or ticks on arrival, they will not be cleared to enter New Zealand. Biosecurity clearance will not be given to your pet even if ticks and fleas are found on any other animal in the same consignment as your pet. Your pet will either be sent to the quarantine facility for treatment and testing or returned to the country of origin.

Biosecurity clearance will not be given to dogs and cats with flea dirt on their skin. If your pet is sent to the quarantine centre for treatment for fleas, expect additional costs of about $1000 per animal.

Dogs and cats detected with ticks will have to stay in the quarantine facility until they are cleared. Cats can take several days to be released and will cost about $1000 per cat for the treatment. Dogs with ticks will be tested for tick-borne diseases, and will not be released from quarantine until negative results are received. This could extend the quarantine stay by several weeks and could cost upwards of $3000 per dog. However, if your dog still tests positive after treatment, they will not be allowed to enter New Zealand and be shipped back to the country of origin.

Looking for pet transport to New Zealand?

Pet transport to New Zealand is both complicated and extremely stringent. Every single pet import regulation has to be followed precisely and in the exact order for your pet to be allowed to enter New Zealand. Any lapse in fulfilling the requirements could mean extended quarantine periods, additional tests and treatments, or worse, your pet will be sent back to the country of origin.

MPI recommends the services of a pet travel agency for a stress-free and error-free pet relocation. If you are planning to travel to New Zealand with your pet dog or cat, get in touch with Petraveller for a detailed pet travel itinerary.