Farm animals in transit

Farm animals transiting through New Zealand on their way to another country must not stay for longer than 24 hours. Find out about the transit requirements.

Transiting requirements

Farm animals can only transit through New Zealand if there is an import health standard (IHS) for the specific country and type of animal.

Farm animals allowed to transit are:

  • buffalo, cattle, sheep, goats, deer, llamas, and alpacas from Australia
  • llamas and alpacas from the United States of America.

You must apply for a transit permit.

Download the permit for transiting animals [PDF, 207 KB]

Farm animals transiting New Zealand are subject to biosecurity requirements and must:

  • remain at all times in or on the vessel or aircraft that brings them to New Zealand
  • comply with the veterinary requirements of the third (destination) country and New Zealand's IHS for that animal
  • have legible animal identification and test methods and results on all laboratory reports
  • be inspected by an official veterinarian in New Zealand who will examine animals for ectoparasites if the transit time exceeds 12 hours
  • have a transit permit.

Notification must be sent to MPI at least 72 hours before an animal arrives in New Zealand, together with the veterinary certificates of the destination country. The maximum transit time for farm animals through New Zealand is 24 hours.

Information about animals transiting countries that have health risks from insect-borne pathogens is available in an IHS.

Download the IHS for importing livestock through countries with insect-borne pathogens [PDF, 36 KB]

Transit times longer than 24 hours

Should transit time exceed 24 hours your animal consignment will be rejected – unless it is eligible for import into New Zealand because it meets the requirements of the relevant IHS for farm animals.

If rejected, your consignment could be sent to quarantine for further testing, reshipped, or destroyed.

Who to contact

If you have any questions about farm animals in transit, email


Last reviewed:
Has this been useful? Give us your feedback