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Emigrating with your pet to New Zealand

If you want to relocate with your pet, this will also require planning, documentation and costs. There are several rules and regulations in place to manage the biosecurity risks. 

Microchip and vaccinations

To start with your pet will have to be microchipped and have the required vaccinations and certificates thereof from a registered vet. Rabies vaccinations are particularly important for South African pets and need to be done less than 6 months prior to departure. Make sure you get a certificate which shows the vaccine duration, some will last 2 years and others only 1 year.

RNAT Test Report

All pets relocating to New Zealand must undergo a Rabies Antibody Titer Test at least three to four weeks after receiving an inactivated rabies vaccination. This blood test, which ensures the vaccine has provided your pet with adequate levels of the rabies antibody, must be reviewed at an approved lab. In order to have your application approved you need to have a full RNAT test laboratory report and rabies vaccination certificate; complete, sign and stamp the declaration. There is a special endorsement for New Zealand called an OVD (Official Veterinary Declaration). Proof of microchip, rabies, and TITER needs to be sent to the USDA to get the OVD approved for your pets application.


Once you have completed the application process it is required to book your pet(s) at an MPI-approved quarantine facility. The quarantine stations are privatized in New Zealand, this means you have options to choose from. There is a 10-day quarantine period for dogs and cats in New Zealand and the only quarantine centres are in Auckland and Christchurch. 

Restricted Breeds

To be noted that the following breeds are restricted in New Zealand: Brazilian Fila, Dogo Argentino, Japanese Tosa, and Perro de Presa Canario, and American Pit Bull Terrier.