New Zealand has the highest rate of pet ownership in the world
Pets fulfil an important role in the lives of individuals, households, families and communities. Biosecurity New Zealand works with pet owners and organisations to help reduce the biosecurity risk pets can pose.
Pets travelling to New Zealand
Pet food, animal feed and nutritional supplements
Managing these risks
New Zealand has a strict regulatory regime to ensure that new high-risk pet species aren’t brought into the country. However, in the past it was easier to bring in new species and about 1,800 pet species are now considered legally present in New Zealand.
Biosecurity New Zealand has been working with pet industry and biosecurity stakeholders to better understand the biosecurity risks posed by the domestic trade in pets already present in New Zealand, and opportunities to manage these risks. Our analysis suggests that most pet species are unlikely to pose significant risks. But some species that can be legally traded at present appear capable of forming wild populations and causing problems.
As a result, MPI has established a group – the National Pest Pet Biosecurity Accord – to regulate the domestic trade of high-risk pets and to encourage responsible pet ownership. This group is mirrored on the successful National Pest Plant Accord and includes MPI, the Department of Conservation, regional councils, the Pet Industry Association and the New Zealand Companion Animal Council.
Pet species that are currently regulated
As yet, no pet species have been regulated under the Accord. However, there are several species that are currently regulated under the Biosecurity Act 1993, which are known to be kept as pets (see Table 1).
It is important that pet owners and pet traders are aware of these and their obligations under the law. Unwanted organisms provisions under the Biosecurity Act 1993 are aimed at preventing the proliferation of these organisms.
Find out more about the regulations [PDF, 455 KB]
Contact your regional council or unitary authority to check for obligations under regional pest management plans.
Council and local authority contact list – Department of Internal Affairs
The Accord Agreement
The Accord aims to provide a nationally coordinated and consistent approach for managing the trade of high-risk pet species and advocacy for responsible pet ownership.
The Accord agreement, once finalised, will be published on this website.
Focus of the Accord
The Accord will focus on species kept primarily as pets that are not widely established in the wild and don’t currently have a regulatory framework for their management. This means that cats, dogs, domestic livestock and a range of other species are out of scope.
The Accord will also focus specifically on the domestic trade in pets and won’t seek to control pet ownership directly. In other words, the Accord will not require pet owners to give up their pets, but it may control breeding, selling and movement of certain species.
The structures to make the Accord work are in the process of being established. Once this is completed, pet species will be assessed to determine whether regulation is warranted and work to encourage responsible pet ownership will begin.
Who to contact
If you have questions about the information on this page, email firstname.lastname@example.org