What Pet Travel Documents Are Needed to Travel to New Zealand?
Moving to New Zealand with your pet requires careful attention to detail. Like all island countries, New Zealand is extremely cautious when it comes to importing animals that could possibly bring unwanted pests or disease. While you can make all of your pet’s travel and import arrangements yourself, this is not recommended. The airline you choose may require use of a commercial pet transporter anyway.
The biggest and most complex aspect of moving your dog or cat to New Zealand is obtaining all the official documentation required. You can read about these requirements on New Zealand’s official government website, or if you’re moving from the United States, USDA’s APHIS division provides country-specific information about exporting pets. Here’s the New Zealand page.
Exactly what documentation your pet will need depends on where you’re living now. The rules are least stringent for pets coming from Australia and Norfolk Island. Other countries approved for pet importation are divided into categories based on whether they are rabies-free (Category 2) or Category 3 (rabies exists but is well controlled). For example the US mainland falls into Category 3, whereas Hawaii, although a US state, falls into Category 2 because the islands are rabies-free.
Here’s an overview of what is required to move your dog or cat to New Zealand from the US mainland. Note that New Zealand does not allow you to submit documentation online.
All dogs and cats must have a health certificate completed by a USDA Accredited veterinarian (Certificate A) as well as an endorsement from the USDA Veterinary Medical Officer (Certificate B) in your state. These documents must be signed in original ink. The USDA (APHIS) must also endorse any laboratory reports you are required to submit.
If you’re coming from the US mainland, use these forms:
If you’re coming from Hawaii or Guam, use these forms:
You must obtain an import permit from the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), but you may not apply for this permit until you have made quarantine arrangements for your pet. (See Section 4.) You must submit your import permit application at least 20 business days before your pet will travel to New Zealand.
Dogs and cats must be vaccinated against rabies, at age 3 months or older. Primary vaccination must be administered within 6 to 12 months of departure. Boosters may not be more than 1 year old.
Rabies Titer Test
Dogs and cats must also undergo a FAVN or RFFIT blood test to confirm the rabies vaccine is active within their body. This test must be based on a blood sample collected within 3 to 24 months of departure.
Dogs and cats must be treated for nematodes and cestodes – once within 30 days of departure, and again within 4 days of departure.
Dogs and cats must also receive topical treatment to control fleas and ticks – once within 30 days of departure, and again at least 2 weeks later and within 2 days of departure. The animal must be visually inspected and found free of ticks at the time of each treatment.
Dogs only must be tested for heartworm within 30 days of departure. In addition, they must receive heartworm prevention treatment within 4 days of departure.
Cats and dogs must be kept in an environment free of any cats or dogs that show signs of infections respiratory disease for at least 21 days before travel, and they cannot show clinical signs of disease themselves when inspected.
Dogs must be tested for Babesia gibsoni using an IFA or ELISA test within 16 days of travel. They must also be tested twice using PCR, using samples collected 30-37 days apart. The second sample must be collected within 16 days of travel. Dogs that test positive for this Babesia gibsoni may not enter New Zealand.
Dogs must be tested for Brucella canis, using TAT and CPAg-AGID methods, within 16 days of departure. Dogs that test positive for Brucella canis may not enter New Zealand.
Dogs must be either vaccinated against leptospirosis or tested within 30 days of departure, with negative results.
Photo of Pet
New Zealand does not require you to submit a picture of your dog or cat, but you will be required to show your own photo identification.