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Live animals



United Kingdom (GB)

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Importing country requirements – United Kingdom

The import requirements and health certification for Northern Ireland​ are different from those imposed on animals exported to Great Britain (England, Scotland, Wales), Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and are addressed at the end of this entry. Where this entry refers to 'Great Britain' or 'GB', this will be taken to mean Great Britain, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Contact the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) or the Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA)​ in the UK for further information.

If you require assistance with importing a pet bird to Northern Ireland, you may seek assistance by contacting their authority via email at​.

See also Transiting animals and animal products through Great Britain.

Refer to these and the Department’s websites for current information about exporting animals (including any suspensions).

Where an importing country issues an import permit, the exporter must ensure the animal meets any requirements in the permit.
Consignments of five or fewer pet birds are eligible for export from Australia to the EU. Pet birds are all species of birds (except poultry) which are accompanied by their owners, or by another person directly responsible for them on behalf of the owner during their movement and are not intended to be sold or transferred to another owner. The birds must be moving as a result of the owner moving.
The following birds are NOT eligible for export from Australia to the UK:​
  • Consignments of more than 5 pet birds.
  • Poultry. Poultry is defined as ‘fowls, guinea fowl, ducks, geese, quails, pigeons, pheasants, partridges and ratites (Ratitae) reared or kept in captivity for breeding, the production of meat or eggs for consumption or for re-stocking supplies of game. Hatching eggs and day old chicks are included in this.
  • Wild caught birds.
  • Any other captive birds that do not meet the definition of pet bird provided above.

Importing country requirements – Great Britain

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

Information about the process required to import animals into GB can be found on the United Kingdom (UK) Government's website.

The importation of pet birds into GB is strictly regulated under UK legislation and enforced by the Department through Departmental officers in the regional office from where the animals are to be exported.

For birds exported by air, they must be carried on an 'approved airline' and via an approved air route​.

Health requirements

It is the responsibility of the exporter to use the appropriate health certificate and ensure that this and any accompanying declarations are in English.

There is a certificate that may be used for the movement of pet birds to the UK and must be used for all consignments of pet birds exported on or after 1 January 2021.

Certificate for movement of pet birds to the UK:

Australian Departmental officers will only endorse health certification for animals destined to the UK if it is written in English.

Australian Departmental officers will not endorse health certification for animals destined to the UK if only presented in a language other than English.

The UK Government has published guidance for exporters completing health certification for animals destined to the UK.

Pet birds imported from non-EU trading partners into Great Britain must be accompanied by an Import License which is issued by the APHA Centre for International Trade Imports.

Email ​

Special conditions

Permission to move birds out of Australia

You may need permission under wildlife trade laws to move birds out of Australia. Refer to the Department’s International wildlife trade requirements. There is specific guidance for non-commercial wildlife trade for public exhibition, scientific research, conservation breeding and personal use.


Other requirements

Transport requirements

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

For animals transported by air, the International Air Transport Association (IATA) sets out the requirements for transporting animals by air. Information on air transport and container requirements can be found on the IATA website on live animal regulations. The container should be IATA compliant and should be cleansed and disinfected before use.

Identification requirements

Pet birds must be individually identified bearing a number which permits tracing to their premises of origin. The identification may be by clip, leg band, microchip or tag.

Ports of Entry

Pet birds from non-EU trading partners may only enter Great Britain via an approved point of entry as specified in the Import Licence. The approved points of entry for pet birds are Edinburgh, Gatwick and Heathrow airports.

Pet birds that require CITES import/export permits are required to enter GB via a CITES designated point of entry.

Pre and post arrival quarantine requirements

The importing country may have specific pre and post arrival quarantine requirements and you should check this.

Return to Australia

Not all live animals are permitted to be imported into Australia. You should make yourself familiar with the Department's requirements for importing live animals. This is important as your animal may have been exposed to diseases that do not occur in Australia.

Basis for Micor entry

Based on importing country website and information.

Entry last reviewed 14 February 2023.​

Latest updates

11/04/2023 - Model health certificate updated (Health requirements).
06/03/2023 - Page first published.
Last updated: 11/04/2023 12:39 PMCreated: 6/03/2023 4:42 PM