Pets to UK and Ireland

Many pets travel from Australia and New Zealand to the United Kingdom and Ireland every day.

At AirCare Pets we have a full range of services for tranporting your pets to UK and Ireland.


We have airline services travelling on three major routes. Options include services through USA, Asia or Australia/Middle East.

Entry airports in the UK providing animal import services are:

  • London Heathrow
  • Birmingham (limited services)
  • Manchester
  • Glascow

Entry airports for Ireland are:

  • Dublin
  • Belfast

Our associates in London can clear you pets through UK Customs and deliver by road or send on domestic flights to any major domestic airport throughout the UK.

We can also arrange board in London in case you need some extra time while arranging your own transport.


Specific Requirements for pets travelling to UK and Ireland:

The import of pets in to UK is controlled by the inter country agreement with the Western European countries. Dogs and cats arriving from New Zealand are checked by the UK vets and issued a Pet Passport which allows the pet to travel on later trips in to, and out of, mainland Europe without further compliance issues.

All pets must have a current Rabies vaccination. In general this vaccination must be fully documented by a registered NZ vet with the microchip numbered verified before administering the vaccine. The Vaccine must be administered at least 21 days before departure and not be older than 36 months. Check with our pet transport consultants for the latest details.

Treatments for internal and external parasites are required for dogs before travel. Talk to your AirCare Travel Consultant to ensure the treatments and timing are fully compliant with the UK entry requirements.

  Request a quoteA

General requirements for pets travelling from New Zealand:

Microchip (aka Transponder)

All animals being exported must be clearly identified with a 15 digit microchip. The chip must be inserted and checked PRIOR to any export oriented treatments or vaccinations.

The number sequence must be recorded as having been verified when all treatments have been administered. If you are contemplating a move overseas you should have your pet microchipped by your vet as soon as possible.

Animal Welfare Export Certificate (AWEC)

All animals leaving New Zealand on an international flight greater than 5 hours must have an Animal Welfare Export Certificate, known simply as an AWEC.

The certificates are issued by the Ministry of Primary Industries official vet office. AirCare Pets normally undertake this process as part of the export procedure carried out the day before departure.

The vet will inspect the animal and assess its ‘fitness to fly’ as well as check the travel cage and itinerary for adherence with IATA standards and the general requirements of the NZ Animal Welfare Act.

An AWEC is not required for travel to Australia from New Zealand.

Zoosanitary Certificate

This is the official MPI veterinary certificate which accompanies the animal and contains all the veterinary and biosecurity details required by the destination country. We prepare this document on behalf of the owner and submit the document, test results, vaccinations details etc for the Official NZ Government Vet to check and stamp the formal travel document. We process these documents to the airline and the receiving Customs station where required.

Only registered exporters can complete this process.

Import Permits:

Some countries require the owner to obtain an import permit for any animal entering their country.

In general these permits must be applied for by the owner or the intending owner residing in the country of destination. Import Permits should be applied for well in advance of the pet’s travel date.

The permit must be supplied to our office for inclusion in the official travel documents. Many countries require the permit number to be shown on the airline records, it is best to forward us the details as soon as you receive them.

Countries requiring Import Permits:

  • South Africa
  • Singapore
  • Japan
  • China
  • Hong Kong
  • Hawaii
  • New Caledonia
  • Tahiti
  • Most of the smaller Pacific Island Nations



Quarantine stay on arrival at destination is required for:

  • New Caledonia
  • Tahiti
  • Fiji

This should be booked by the owner (or intending owner) in the destination country. It is normally booked as part of the Import Permit process.

Check with AirCare for updates.

The above is a list of the requirements for popular travel destinations and their requirements at time of printing. For destinations not on the list and for the latest updates we recommend discussing your travel needs as soon as possible with an AirCare Pet Travel Consultant and receive all the latest details.