Cats and Dogs to Australia: Significant updates effective 1 July 2024

Published on 11 June 2024.

The Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) was tasked with making changes to the system managing the export of cats and dogs to Australia, to ensure the system aligned more closely with the legal framework and provisions in the New Zealand Animal Products Act 1999, which facilitates international trade in animal material including live animals and germplasm and Animal Products.

MPI recognised how well the current system has been operating and was committed to keeping the system as similar as possible, within the boundaries of the legal provisions.

What has changed?

The changes summarised below will come into effect on 1 July 2024, however the intent of how the current system operates will remain in place.

Operational Code and Overseas Market Access Requirements (OMAR)

  • As of 1 July 2024, the Cats and Dogs to Australia Operational Code will be completely revoked and not re-issued.
  • The OMAR will contain all the requirements, with an accompanying Guidance Document detailing how to meet those requirements.
  • There will be a separate OMAR and Guidance document for each of the three certifications below:
    1. Cats and Dogs (AUPET9)
    2. Canine and Feline Semen of New Zealand Origin (AUSEM9)
    3. Dogs and Cats to Australia – Official Assurance (AUPETOA9).
  •  Veterinary Practices will be Listed in the OMAR (and on the MPI website.
  • Information about what is required for a practice to be listed is held in the OMAR.
  • Information on what a Listed Veterinary Practice needs to adhere to and supervise their certifying veterinarians is in the Guidance Document and OMAR.
  • Veterinarians will no longer be Approved Veterinarians. Instead, they will be under the sole responsibility of the Listed Veterinary Practice, and referred to as private veterinarians.


  • 'Approved Veterinary Practice' is now 'Listed Veterinary Practice'.
  • 'Approved Veterinarian' has been fully removed.
  • 'Approved Practice number' is now 'Veterinary Practice Listing Number' (which is the same number).
  • 'Online training assessment' is now 'Online Training Module' 

Audit frequency

  • Every Listed Veterinary Practice will be required to have annual audits to retain listing.
  • All audit anniversaries will be honoured, and the annual audit will start at the next 'due' audit according to the current approved schedule (eg a Listed practice that has been 'Approved' until February 2027 will start annual audits from February 2027).

Online training module

  • MPI has removed the pass/fail mark. It is up to each Listed Veterinary Practice and Practice Export Manager (PEM) whether they are prepared to allow the veterinarian to certify under the Veterinary Practices Listing.
  • The completion of the training module will provide the veterinarian a generated report percentage of correct responses. This report will need to be provided to the PEM for their permission of certification provision and filled in the practice records for audit purposes.

Export certificates

  • The export certificates will not change until later in the year.
  • There will be a full certificate recall when the new certificates are ready for issuance.
  • MPI and the Australian Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry (DAFF) are aware that there is terminology relating to Approved Veterinarian and Approval Number on the current certificates, but we can continue to use the certificates until we have the new certificates agreed and issued.


  • All forms for the provision of services (ordering certificates/verification receipt/Veterinary Practice Listing/Access to the online Veterinary Training Module) have been updated and will need to be used from 1 July 2024.
  • The OSD form has been updated. Any OSDs that have been signed before 1 July 2024 will still be considered valid until 1 October 2024. All OSDs signed after 1 July 2024 should be on the new version form, but discretion will be allowed if the export occurs before 1 October 2024.

Official Assurance (AUPETOA9) to be used for:

  • All dogs that have ever resided in mainland Africa.
  • All assistance dogs that are returning to New Zealand within 30 days.
  • All cats and dogs that intend to return to New Zealand within 30 days.
  • All cats and dogs that require onward certification by Australia to a third country (within 30 days).
  • All cats and dogs that have been issued with an import permit and exemption from requirements from Australia.
    • Bengal cats with EBO permission are still permitted to be certified by a private veterinarian under a Listed Veterinary Practice.
  • The guidance document will provide detailed information about what the private veterinarian is required to do to prepare an animal for Australia for certification by an MPI Official Veterinarian. 

MPI website

  • The MPI website will be re-written and launched on 1 July 2024 to provide more clarity for owners and private veterinarians about the process of using an official assurance.
  • All terminology and forms will be updated and available on 1 July 2024. 

What do I need to do now?

If your veterinary practice wishes to continue certifying cats and dogs to Australia and/or canine and feline semen of New Zealand origin to Australia:

  • Update the veterinary practice manual to the 1 July 2024 version
  • Ensure that the updated forms are used from 1 July 2024
  • There will be a transition period of for the implementation of updating the manual of 1 September 2024.
  • AsureQuality will liaise directly with any practices that are due to be audited between now and 1 September.

If your veterinary practice wishes to withdraw from certifying cats and dogs to Australia and/or canine and feline semen of New Zealand origin to Australia:

  • Please notify your intent to withdraw to AsureQuality as soon as possible. This will prevent the practice from being listed into the legal OMAR.
  • AsureQuality will then advise you on how to return unused certificates and receive the due credit.

Meeting to discuss the changes

MPI is grateful to the extremely high level of export certification provided by all veterinarians and practices currently performing certification. They will hold an online meeting for veterinary practices, veterinarians and PEMs who would like to discuss the upcoming changes.

Date: Tuesday 18 June 2024
Time: 11am
Location: Online via Microsoft Teams

If you would like to attend the meeting, please join using the details below: 

Direct link: Join the meeting now

Meeting ID: 489 655 714 421

Passcode: J2BXBq 


Dial in by phone: +64 4-280 2674

Phone conference ID: 951 391 567#

MPI intends to provide a sample version of the OMAR and Guidance Document as soon as possible to help ensure a smooth transition on 1 July 2024.