Animal Welfare Export Certificates (AWECs)
Animals being exported from New Zealand require an animal welfare export certificate, as set out in the Animal Welfare Act 1999. This ensures the welfare of animals is provided for, so that they may travel and arrive in good health.
Some animals may be exempt from the need for such certificates where the risk to their welfare is considered low.
Any person planning to export livestock (i.e. sheep, cattle, goats or deer) must apply to the Director-General for the issue of an AWEC, under section 42 of the Animal Welfare Act.
An AWEC application must:
- be made on the application form; and
- be made at least 20 working days before the date on which the applicant proposes that the animal/s leave New Zealand;
- include a signed Declaration of Purpose for Export of Live Animals from New Zealand
Exporters should contact MPI early in the export planning process to discuss their proposed voyage and prospective application. Exporters may seek, at this pre-application stage, an indication of any concerns the Director-General could have about the proposed voyage, and ascertain what information the Director-General may require as part of the application process.
The Director-General will assess a formal application on its merits, on a case by case basis, taking into account the relevant factors under the Animal Welfare Act.
MPI aims to respond to applications for routine exports within five working days from when the application is received. The Director-General will make a decision within the 20 working days set out in the Act. For more complex voyages, MPI will provide regular progress updates on the evaluation of the application until a decision is reached.
If the Director-General grants an application, the applicant will be provided with an "In-Principle" AWEC. This will specify, in writing, conditions that must be met before the Ministry for Primary Industries Verification Agency Port Veterinarian issues the final AWEC on the day of export.
The Director-General will, as a minimum, impose conditions requiring:
- that the livestock are fit and healthy for the journey; and
- that the ship or aircraft and other relevant aspects of the export comply, as appropriate, with the MPI sea transport standard(s) or the IATA Live Animals Regulations; and
- that the applicant submit a voyage report to the MAF Animal Welfare Directorate within 10 working days of completing the journey.
The relevant MPI sea standards are available at http://www.biosecurity.govt.nz/regs/exports/animals
AWEC Application Form
- AWEC Application Form (22 KB)
MAF had been consulting on the proposed guidelines for the issue of animal welfare export certificates. The second round of consultation closed on 25 August 2009. You can view the summary of submissions from the second round of consultation here:
- Summary of Submissions: Consultation on Guidelines for the Issue of Animal Welfare Export Certificates (154 KB)
You can view the analysis of submissions from the first round of consultation here::
Declaration of Purpose for Export of Live Animals from New Zealand
Applicants wishing to export live cattle, deer, sheep or goats for any purpose must also provide MPI (fax number 04-894 0747 and mark for attention "Animal Welfare Standards Directorate") a declaration sworn under the Oaths and Declarations Act 1957, as to the intended end-use of the animals (immediate slaughter, fattening and subsequent slaughter, breeding, or other use).
Persons with delegated authority to sign AWECs
|HISLOP||Catherine Margaret Crystal|
|SMITH||Duncan Charles Thomas|
|Director, Animals and Animal Products
|Senior Advisor, Animal Welfare|
Page last updated: 7 December 2012