Guide For Export Of Dogs & Cats To Australia

It is advisable to make an appointment with one of our vets at least one month before travel to discuss export requirements so that unexpected delays can be avoided.

Prior to travel, please consider these restrictions:

  • Prohibition of certain breeds of dogs (Pit Bull Terrier or American Pit Bull, Japanese Tosa, Fila Braziliero, Dogo Argentino or Presa Canario). Crosses of these breeds are also not allowed to be imported into NZ so if you intend to bring your dog back into NZ you need to discuss this with MAF before exporting. If there is doubt as to a dogs breed you may need to consider DNA testing.
  • Minimum residency clause (past 90 days in either NZ or Australia and at least 60 days outside any quarantine restriction)
  • Minimum age of 8 weeks
  • Female cats and dogs must not be more than 40 days pregnant and must not be suckling young at the time of export.
  • Dogs that have resided in Africa, or have an unknown history, must be treated for Babesia canis. Be aware that it takes several days for us to order the special drug needed.
  • If the animal is a domestic/non-domestic hybrid (e.g. Bengal cat), it is proven to be 5th generation or more away from any pure-bred non-domestic ancestor. In the case of a cat, the cat must not be derived from crossbreeding a domestic cat with a serval cat or with a savannah cat. 


All dogs and cats must be microchipped for export to Australia. Microchipping can be performed at the time of the export check if the owner is present. If the owner is NOT present then we can only insert a microchip if the pet is accompanied by a signed letter from the owner giving permission to microchip that particular pet. 

Prior to Export

Prior to the export check-up, an ‘owner statutory declaration’ must be completed if the owner is NOT going to be present for the check-up.  This must be signed and witnessed by a JP or other authorised person and must be brought along with the pet at the time of the check-up. Each pet requires a separate declaration. The declaration must be signed within 90 days prior to the date of export. The pet must be presented with the ORIGINAL document, NOT a copy. If the owner is definitely going to be present for the check-up there is no need to fill in this declaration. If in doubt complete the declaration to avoid delays.    

Export Certificate

An Export Certificate is required to be completed within 5 days of travel.  This involves a visit to a vet who is approved to certify cats and dogs for export to Australia, (either Stuart Burrough or Mark Wiseman at The Vet Centre).  They will treat the animal for internal and external parasites and perform a clinical exam to determine that the animal is:


  • Free of clinical evidence of infectious or contagious disease.
  • Fit to travel                                                                                        

If the pets health changes after the examination but before export then the examination must be repeated.

Proof of Birth

If your dog has, or if you are unsure if your dog has, ever lived outside of NZ or Australia a blood test for Ehrlichia canis and Leishmania will be required. The dog must have been resident in NZ for a minimum of 21 days prior to testing. Blood samples need to be collected at least 2-3 weeks prior to departure to allow time for testing. All blood testing must be done within New Zealand 

Destination Information

At the time of the pre-export check-up you must be able to provide details of destination address in Australia, NZ address, date of travel and flight number. 


Cages for travel must comply with IATA regulations. A copy of these regulations is attached. The animal must not be able to place its nose or paw outside the cage.  The dimensions of the cage must allow the animal to stand, turn around and lie down. Cages can be purchased or hired from airlines. 

Travel Companies

Pet travel companies can make all the necessary arrangements for travel. Using an approved pet transporter is strongly advised, as it takes a lot of the hassle out of it all! A list of approved pet transporters is attached. 


Sedation is not recommended for the journey.

Owners Responsibility

It is the owner’s responsibility to notify DAFF (Australian equivalent of MAF) at least 3 days before export. The air-line or pet transporter can do this on behalf of the owner but it is the owner’s responsibility to ensure it has been done.

The information they need is:-

  • Date and estimated time of arrival in Australia
  • Flight number
  • Air waybill number
  • A short description of the pet and their microchip number
  • Contact phone number in NZ and Australia
  • Whether the dog is a disability assistance dog
DAFF Contact Details:
DAFF Biosecurity
Port of Landing
Phone Fax Email
Cairns +61 7 4030 7852 +61 7 4030 7843
Brisbane/Coolangatta +61 7 3246 8731 +61 7 3246 8798
Sydney +61 2 8334 7434 +61 2 8334 7430
Melbourne +61 3 8318 6700 +61 3 8308 5071
Adelaide +61 8 8201 6159 +61 8 8201 6111
Perth +61 8 9334 1555 +61 8 9334 1668