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What pets can I bring into New Zealand?

Chinchilla's from Great Britain can come to New Zealand

Chinchillas from Great Britain are on the list of approved animals to come to New Zealand

It isn’t hard to see why you are tempted to make the move to New Zealand, it’s natural wonders, vast green pastures and cosmopolitan cities make it a desirable place to start fresh. Over 6,000 people a month are migrating to New Zealand and with pets often considered as part of the family, they too are making the move. However, there are a few things to consider when relocating your pets to New Zealand.
New Zealand has a strict and uncompromising approach to the relocation of pets into New Zealand and not every pet is able to enter New Zealand. The following animals are approved for relocation:

  • Approved cat breeds from approved countries
  • Approved dog breeds from approved countries
  • Chinchillas from Great Britain
  • Rabbits from Australia
  • Guinea pigs from Australia
  • Horses
  • Some species of fish for ornamental purposes such as fish for aquariums, but the import process is different and can be difficult.

The main reason New Zealand is so strict in its stance is because the country prides itself on biodiversity and much of the country’s economy is reliant on the ecosystem, which could be put at risk by allowing some animals into the country.
Animals NOT permitted for entry into New Zealand include:

  • birds
  • ferrets
  • mice and rats
  • reptiles
  • snakes.

Your pet must have been born, raised or lived in countries that New Zealand considers to be either rabies-fee or rabies-controlled for a minimum of 6 months before her or she will be allowed entry into the country.
Rabie-free countries include:

  • Australia
  • Bahrain
  • Barbados
  • Falkland Islands
  • Fiji
  • French Polynesia
  • Guam
  • Hawaii
  • Iceland
  • Japan
  • Mauritius
  • New Caledonia
  • Singapore
  • Vanautu
  • Pacific Islands.

Tests, Vaccines & Medications

New Zealand has some specific health requirements that must be met before you can bring your pet into the country. Make sure you budget at least one visit to the vet before you leave for New Zealand, as there a few things that will need to be up to date for your pet to travel.
If not already, your cat or dog will need to be microchipped for entry into New Zealand. Cats and dogs must be fully vaccinated for rabies and a rabies titre test will be required to prove your pet isn’t infected with rabies. Both Cats and Dogs need to have internal and external parasite treatments, all dogs will require heartworm and babesia gibsoni tests and dogs traveling from anywhere but Australia will also need leptospirosis and brucella canis test too.
For rabbits, a vet certificate stating the animal has not been near any reported cases of European brown hare syndrome or tularemia in domestic animals will be required. Your rabbit will need to have an external parasite treatment and also a flea treatment.
If your animal is taking any regular medication, then it is important that this travels with your pet. You will need to declare the medication using a declaration of medicines form. Ask your vet for a copy of the prescription and generally a 3-month supply of medication will be approved for entry into the country.
New Zealand’s strict customs rules also has public safety in mind. Many dog breeds are authorised to move to New Zealand, however there are some breeds that are prohibited. This also includes any dog breeds that wholly or predominantly belong to the below list of breeds and also includes any embryo, ova or semen from these breeds.
Breeds of dog that may not be brought into New Zealand include:

  • American Pit Bull Terrier
    Brazilian Fila
    Dogo Argentino
    Japanese Tosa
    Perro de Presa Canario.