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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.

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Update – 30 April 2023

Exports of livestock by sea have ended

Exports of livestock by sea have ended, with the ban taking effect on 30 April 2023.

The ban follows a transition period of two years to wind down the trade and give stakeholders time to adapt.

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