I’ve thoroughly researched your options to take your beloved pet safely to Australia with you. Below is a step-by-step guide outlining the eligibility and requirements for your cat or dog to move from New Zealand to Australia.
To move your pet to Australia from New Zealand, you will need to follow the guidelines set by the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources.
Cats and dogs coming to Australia from New Zealand do not require an import permit. There is no Australian post-entry quarantine period.
What this post covers:
The Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources regulates the import of cats and dogs into Australia to:
Cats and dogs moving to Australia from New Zealand do not require an import permit however, import conditions apply.
If you have a cat or dog and are planning on moving to Australia, then of course you are wondering how much it will cost. The cost to fly your cat or dog from New Zealand to Australia depends on their destination, the breed, the size of the pet you are transporting and if you need collection and delivery.
As a very rough guide, it will cost about $800 to move a cat to Australia and between $1000-$2,500 to move a dog.
However, this price increases if you need your dog or cat collected from your NZ home and delivered to your new home in Australia. Extra costs will also be added for the crate, vet check and paperwork.
MPI recommends you use a registered pet exporter to help arrange tests, treatments, flights, crates and other requirements. Most airlines will only deal with a pet exporter as this adds the assurance that all requirements will be completed at the appropriate time before departure. Fees and charges apply.
New Zealand has an agreement with Australia that makes it easier to export your cat or dog. Unlike most other countries, you don’t need an Animal Welfare Export Certificate.
Before sending your cat or dog to Australia, contact an MPI-approved veterinarian. They’re authorised to certify your pet is fit and healthy for travel. And they sign the export certificate. Your pet mover will organise this for you.
Your pet will need to travel in an approved crate and have other provisions to comply with International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements. Your pet exporter can arrange this for you. It’s a good idea to get your crate early and get your pet used to being in and around it.
If someone is exporting your cat or dog to Australia on your behalf (for example, a registered pet exporter or a representative), you need to complete an owner statutory declaration. An owner’s statutory declaration has to be witnessed by an authorised person like a Justice of the Peace (JP) or a lawyer. MPI-approved vets require the original owner statutory declaration form so that the nominated person presenting the cat or dog to them can sign all the necessary documents on your behalf. Note, that you don’t need a declaration form if you’re presenting your own cat and dog for export certification.
There are certain breeds of cats that are not eligible to be imported into Australia from New Zealand:
Please note, in certain circumstances, the Department may permit the import of Bengal cats that are five generations or more removed from their wild ancestor. If you plan to import a Bengal cat, please contact the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water at firstname.lastname@example.org to confirm your cat satisfies the requirements before you apply for an import permit.
There are certain breeds of dogs that are not eligible to be imported into Australia from New Zealand:
Please contact the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water at email@example.com for more information on hybrid animals and reproductive material/specimens.
For more information on prohibited dog breeds, contact the Department of Home Affairs at +61 2 6264 1111.
The below step-by-step guide is from the Australian Department of Agriculture and Water Resources website.
When you are moving your beloved furry family member you need to find a pet transport company that will make sure your cat or dog is looked after throughout the process to minimise anxiety for both your pet and yourself.
I have recently contacted a large number of visitors who requested a quote request through my website and asked them who they used and who would they recommend. I then changed my pet partner to a more trusted and recommended provider.
To import your pet into Australia your animal must meet the below general eligibility requirements:
An import permit is not required for cats and dogs moving to Australia from New Zealand.
However, the exporter must sign a Statutory Declaration that:
Your pet transport company will help you with this.
Your beloved animal must be accompanied by a health certificate signed by a veterinarian approved by the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries to certify live cats and dogs to Australia (information above). Your pet transport company will help you organise this.
The health certificate must be an original document, and copies will not be accepted.
The health certificate must certify that:
Additional requirements for dogs only
The health certificate must also certify that:
These tests must be done after the dog has resided in New Zealand for a minimum of 21 days. This testing remains valid only if the dog is continuously resident in New Zealand from the sampling date until export to Australia.
Dogs that have ever been to mainland Africa must be treated by a government-approved veterinarian while resident in New Zealand for Babesia Canis with imidocarb dipropionate.
Final travel stipulations for your cat or dog travelling to Australia from New Zealand:
Once your pet has arrived in Australia, the below conditions will be checked:
Final check before you can collect your cat or dog from biosecurity:
Air New Zealand does not accept animals directly from the public because of the complexity involved in completing the pre-flight documentation, the Ministry for Primary Industries compliance and veterinary checks. Approved pet transporters or an IATA agent will have to assist you with moving your pet.
Air New Zealand pet transporters must go through a formal registration and approval process before we entrust them to care for your pet’s travel arrangements to our standards. They recognise that they are dealing after all with family members – no matter which exterior they are bundled into!
For international travel, Qantas strongly recommend using a pet travel specialist due to the complexity of customs and quarantine requirements. Just mention that you’d like your pet to travel on a Qantas aircraft should you contact them.
Note: Only service dogs can be carried in the passenger cabin of the aircraft. All other animals and pets travel in a particular area in the hold of a passenger aircraft where the temperature and noise are similar to those experienced in the cabin.
Virgin Australia currently requires all guests wishing to book travel with their pet to make a booking with a Commercial Pet Transport Company.
The minimum age for pets travelling to Australia is 8 weeks old. For all other countries, the minimum age is 12 weeks.
Although puppies and kittens may be Certified for travel at 12 weeks some country requirements (i.e. Minimum vaccination age/waiting or stand down period after the vaccination etc.) will result in the puppy or kitten travelling at 16 weeks +.
Your pet will be in the live animal hold. Just like the main passenger section your pet will travel in a pressurized and heated section of the aircraft.
You are welcome to put soft toys and blankets in the cage, things that will make the trip more comfortable are great. Solid bowls, brushes, shampoos etc. will need to be checked in with your luggage.
From check-in, in Auckland until they are released when they land at their final destination pets are not released and are not fed.
Ideally, you should feed your pet an early dinner and then nothing but water on the day of departure. It is much nicer for them to travel feeling a bit hungry than in a cage that has been messed in that they cannot get away from.
Pets must always have access to water.
Don’t sedate your pet. A sedated pet has a lower breathing and heart rate. This combined with the lower oxygen levels of an aircraft at altitude can be a risk. Also, a pet waking up with no recollection of how it got there can cause a great deal of panic. Some airlines will not carry sedated pets so if this is something you are considering we need to know so there are no problems on the day of departure.
Having the cage at home for your pets to get used to or at least become familiar with really helps reduce anxiety on the day of departure.
Homeopathic remedies (available at most Vets and pet stores) used around the home a few days prior to departure are also a great way of taking the edge off when their environment is rapidly changing.
Making their cage as comfortable environment as possible by adding items such as their own toys, blankets and bedding, and even items of clothing worn by you and your family really makes a difference.
For most pets departing from NZ, there is no quarantine and usually pets can be collected a few hours after the flight lands. There are a few exceptions so check with us.
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