Animal Welfare Export Certificates

If you're exporting live animals, you're legally required to get an Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC), unless you have an exemption. The AWEC process aims to minimise any welfare risks faced by animals during their journey and protect New Zealand's reputation as a responsible exporter of live animals. You must apply to MPI to get an AWEC.

Update – 23 October 2020

If you are exporting livestock by sea, the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) has introduced new requirements following the independent Heron review.

Media release: MPI introduces new requirements for livestock exports following independent review

For further information contact our team at

Different processes for different animals

To get an Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC) to export cattle, deer, sheep and goats:

For other types of live animal exports:

Legal obligations

Regulations relating to animal exports and animal welfare export certificates are in Part 3 of the Animal Welfare Act 1999. Exporters need to be familar with the legislation.

Who to contact

If you have questions about exporting live animals, email

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