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Live animals

Zoo animals


New Zealand (NZ)

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Importing country requirements

It is the exporter's responsibility to ensure that the animal meets the importing country requirements.

An import permit is required and obtainable from the New Zealand Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI):


Refer to the New Zealand MPI website for current information about exporting animals (including any suspensions) from Australia to New Zealand.

Where an importing country issues an import permit, the exporter must ensure the animal meets any requirements in the permit.

Health requirements

As required by the importing country.

There is an import health standard (IHS) for each approved species of zoo animal that can be imported into New Zealand from Australia.

New Zealand’s import health standard (IHS) for zoo bovids, giraffids and tragulidae (PDF 495 KB) and other zoo animals can be accessed on MPI’s website. Should a zoo seek to export an animal in accordance with the IHS for zoo bovids, giraffids and tragulidae or other exotic species, then please contact the Department’s regional office in the Australian state or territory from where the animal will depart so that any ​government-to-government negotiations can begin through the National Program in Canberra. The animal(s) will not be able to depart until these negotiations are complete.

As importing country requirements may change without advice to the Department you should check the import permit and/or the country website carefully at the time of preparation for export.

Special requirements

Only approved zoo operators can import

To import zoo animals, you must operate an approved containment facility for zoo animals, such as a zoo, animal park, or butterfly house. 

Refer to the Steps to importing zoo animals into New Zealand for more information.

Other requirements

Transport requirements

The importing country may have specific transport requirements and you should check this.

Importing equipment requirements

All equipment entering New Zealand with zoo animals must comply with the IHS for importing equipment associated with animals or water and you should check this.

Basis for Micor entry

Based on importing country website and information.

Entry last reviewed 16 June 2022.

Latest updates

07/09/2022 - Requirements for zoo bovids, giraffids and tragulidae included.
09/06/2021 - Extensive changes were made to all sections of this entry.
Last updated: 19/04/2023 8:57 AMCreated: 15/01/2015 12:30 PM