Dear Australian Pet Transporters
The New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries is aware that due to the current COVID-19 situation there are a number of people trying to import their cats and dogs into New Zealand from Australia before 1st April. In order to expedite the shipment of these animals, we will put an equivalence in place to allow cats and dogs from Australia to enter a quarantine facility upon arrival in New Zealand to fulfil the import requirements. For dogs, we will require the Babesia gibsoni blood sample to be taken in Australia prior to shipment as the test is performed in Australia. You may wish to do the heartworm test at the same time. Dogs may be transported to New Zealand before the results are received back.
The equivalence will need to be stated on an import permit to allow the Australian official veterinarians to certify the pets for export. Please send a category 2 application for an import permit (see link below) to along with the quarantine booking form.
The importer is of course responsible for all costs associated with the import of their pet e.g. quarantine, testing, treatment and veterinary inspection charges. The quarantine facilities should be able to give an idea of costs at the time of booking as long as they are made aware of the requirements that the cat or dog will not meet.
We also recommend that you inform dog importers that a diagnosis of Babesia gibsoni or heartworm will result in reshipment. If reshipment is not able to be done, there may be no other option but to euthanise their pet. This of course is worse-case scenario but we feel it best to make importers aware of this.
We are hoping to have this equivalence in place on Monday so please send import permit applications in as soon as possible. These permits will be processed urgently.
Here is a link to our website where you will find further information on quarantine facilities:
Any questions, please feel free to send through an email.
Wendy Newsham | Senior Adviser | Animal Imports
Animal Health and Welfare Directorate | Agriculture & Investment Services – Tapuwae Ahuwhenua
Ministry for Primary Industries - Manatū Ahu Matua
Charles Fergusson Building | 34-38 Bowen Street | PO Box 2526 | Wellington 6140 | New Zealand
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