AWEC process for live animals other than livestock

To export live animals (other than livestock) which are non-exempt, you need to get an Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC). We've created a step-by-step process so you can see what's involved.

Who to contact

If you have questions about getting this type of animal welfare export certificate, email:

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Follow the steps

Step 1
What you need to know

An overview of getting an AWEC to export live animals other than livestock.

Check exemption list before you start

Some types of animals can be exported without an AWEC. Check the exemptions list before you start.

Examples of animals that need an AWEC

You must apply to MPI to get an AWEC for non-exempt:

  • cats and dogs
  • day old poultry
  • horses
  • rabbits, rodents, guinea pigs, and water dragons.

You must also make sure all other export documentation needed to export live animals is complete.

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 familiar with the legislation.

Step 2
What you need to do

The tasks you need to complete

Apply for your Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC)

To get an AWEC, you must contact the relevant MPI Verification Services (MPI VS) office for the AWEC application:

For non-exempt cats and dogs, use this application form:

AWEC application form for non-exempt cats and dogs [PDF, 314 KB]

Assessing your application

When MPI has your completed documentation, we will start assessing your application to make sure the arrangements for the export satisfy the relevant technical standards or guidance material. The assessment may involve contacting you by email or telephone for further information or clarification. Sometimes a meeting may also be needed before the assessment is completed.

If the assessment is unfavourable, MPI staff will tell you the reasons and how to resolve them to get an AWEC. If the issues cannot be resolved you may decide to abandon the export application. 

MPI VS will issue the AWEC at the time of export provided all requirements for the welfare of the animals have been met.

Step 3
Getting your AWEC

How you know your animals can be exported.

You're ready to export when the MPI VS veterinarian completes verification that all of the conditions of export have been met and issues the final AWEC.

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