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Quarantine in New Zealand: All you need to know

New Zealand is a rabies-free country and therefore has complex pet import regulations. Pets flying to New Zealand can land only in Auckland or Christchurch and have to spend a short period in approved quarantine centres before being able to join their families. The quarantine regulations change depending on the country your pet is travelling from, and the rabies status of that country. Generally, pets moving to New Zealand from Australia are exempt from quarantine.

The Ministry of Primary Industries in New Zealand has specific regulations for pets flying into the country. You will need a pet permit to get your pet into the country. If you are travelling from Australia, you will not need a permit, but your pet will be subject to post-arrival inspection for health issues. New Zealand allows pets only from a set of approved countries; Australia, Norfolk Island, Bahrain, Japan, Singapore, Iceland, among others are approved countries. Take help from a professional animal transport company to figure out if your country is approved and create the best travel plan for your pet.

If you are travelling with your pet from a country that is not on the approved list, your pet will not be allowed inside the country. The workaround for this is to let your pet stay in an approved country for at least six months before moving to New Zealand or to enlist the help of an experience animal travel company in requesting an inclusion to the Ministry of Primary Industries (MPI) for consideration.

Quarantine procedures: What to expect

All dogs and cats entering New Zealand, except those coming from Australia, must undergo a period of quarantine in an MPI-approved quarantine facility from 10 days to 60 days. New Zealand requires a quarantine period of 180 days for all dogs and cats entering the country, except for animals coming in from Australia. About 170 days of the quarantine can be spent in the home country and 10 days at the quarantine facility in New Zealand.

As it enters the country, your pet will be subjected to a medical examination. Provided your paperwork is correct and complete, and the rabies vaccinations are on schedule, your pet will complete their quarantine sooner. If the dog or cat is not free from communicable diseases, the quarantine period will increase, and in the worst case, the pet will be sent back at your expense.

Your pet will spend its quarantine in one of the four approved facilities, and booking for these facilities must be done beforehand. A confirmation from the quarantine facility is necessary to apply for the import licence. MPI officers will examine your pet once a week during the quarantine period.

Approved quarantine facilities in New Zealand

If your pet is entering New Zealand by air, there are two entry cities that it can fly to: Auckland and Christchurch. There are four MPI approved quarantine centres in these cities and confirmation from one of these facilities is vital to complete the pet import process.

  • Auckland Quarantine: Located about 15 minutes from the airport in Brookby, Auckland Quarantine is run by professional and competent staff. The facility houses both dogs and cats, has three vets on call at all times and 20 workers on location.
  • Pet Haven Quarantine Services, Auckland: Pet Haven has more than 12 years of experience in handling New Zealand’s quarantine process and import regulations. The facility works closely with MPI to arrange timely visits and arrival and release inspections.
  • Qualified Pet Services, Auckland: QPS offers quality quarantine facilities, and your pet has access to spacious kennels that is divided into a living area and an exercise area. Though your pet will be isolated due to bio-security regulations, there is enough to stimulate him during his stay here.
  • Canterbury Quarantine Services, Christchurch: Situated just minutes away from Christchurch airport, this facility has luxury kennels and cattery for your pet’s quarantine needs.

These quarantine facilities allow you to visit your pet while they are confined. All you need to do is book an appointment and go during visiting hours to spend time with your pooch. Quarantine costs differ in each facility, and it is best to reach out to the individual facility to know what the rates are.

Summing up

New Zealand has strict bio-security requirements; issues such as incorrect paperwork, out of date and inaccurate tests and treatments will result in extended quarantine, which is not ideal as it will translate to extra expenditure and more time away from your pet. At the very worst, the officials can send your pet back to the home country at your expense if the documentation is improper and the pet does not pass the required health checks.

If you are travelling to New Zealand with your furry friend from a country different from Australia, the prospect of quarantine may seem daunting. Expert preparation from skilled animal travel professionals will ensure your pet can sail through the quarantine period unscathed.

Get in touch with our team at Petraveller to arrange your cat or dog’s relocation to New Zealand.