Quarantine facilities when importing cats and dogs

If you're importing your cat or dog, it'll have to stay in a quarantine facility. Find out what to expect, what you should know, and what to plan for. 

Overview

This information will help you know what to let the quarantine facility know about, and what you can expect.

We've also got information about risks that could arise (around sickness, delayed release, and not meeting import requirements). In some cases, these could result in significant additional costs. Consider this information when you're planning your cat or dog’s import, arrival, and pick-up plans.

Cats and dogs from Australia

Remember, compliant cats and dogs from Australia are cleared when they arrive in New Zealand. They don't need to go into quarantine.

The facility will look after your animals

The privately run quarantine facility that you choose will regularly monitor your cat or dogs while in their care. This helps to ensure that your cat or dog stays healthy. 

If the facility is concerned about the health or wellbeing of your cat or dog, it'll request a private clinical veterinarian's services. The staff will let you (the owner) and MPI know.

Let the facility know about any medical conditions

Make sure you let the facility know about any medical conditions your cat or dog has before importing. 

How long your animal needs to stay in the facility

The minimum quarantine period for cats and dogs is 10 days. But the period may be longer if:

  • the quarantine period ends outside of normal business hours
  • the import requirements have not been met
  • a cat or dog is unwell or has been exposed to a suspected exotic disease
  • ectoparasites are associated with a cat or dog
  • an aggressive cat or dog cannot be adequately examined.

Your animal's release date could get delayed

It's always possible that the facility could find an issue when a cat or dog is due for release. Releases may be delayed at short notice.  

What happens during quarantine

An MPI veterinarian will inspect your cat or dog within 72 hours of arriving at the facility. Your cat or dog must stay for at least 10 days. The final inspection only happens during normal business hours. This means that the release inspection might happen after 10 days of quarantine.

If your animal doesn't meet import requirements

You cat or dog may need to stay longer than 10 days in quarantine if it does not meet the import requirements.

If your animal gets sick

The facility will not release your cat or dog if it gets sick during quarantine and an exotic disease is suspected. Further testing or treatment may be required. This may significantly increase costs for you.  

If the facility suspects contact with a highly contagious exotic disease

If your cat or dog might have been exposed to a highly contagious exotic disease, it may be treated as as also having the disease. Further tests and treatments may be required. This may significantly increase costs for you. Costs can vary.

If your animal has ectoparasites

If the facility finds that your cat or dog has ectoparasites, it will require more treatments and inspections. Your cat or dog will not be released until it is found to be free of ectoparasites and any associated diseases. Dogs found with ticks require more testing. This may result in a delayed release from quarantine, and significantly increased costs for you.  

If your animal becomes aggressive or dangerous

Aggressive cats and dogs are difficult to manage and examine, and pose a health and safety risk to the people caring for them. Make sure you let the facility know about any potential anxiety or aggression issues before your cat or dog arrives in New Zealand. A veterinarian might need to sedate your cat or dog to complete necessary inspections. They might also need sedation for any other treatments or testing that may be required.

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