Obstacles to importing horses to NZ

7/3/20233 min read

gray and brown animal
gray and brown animal

Are you considering importing a brand new breed to New Zealand?

Importing a new breed to New Zealand is an exciting prospect. It will also come with some hefty costs. There are many reasons why you might want to import a new breed to a country. Bringing in your favourite, beloved or dream breed, it may come with a lot of special memories for you. New Zealand is a bio sanctuary, so the horses here will find relative safety from a few of the threats breeds face such as war and disease.

Importing horses to New Zealand can involve several obstacles and requirements due to the country's biosecurity measures. These measures are in place to protect New Zealand's unique environment and agricultural industries from the introduction of pests, diseases, and invasive species. Some common obstacles to importing horses to New Zealand include:

  1. Quarantine Requirements: Horses being imported into New Zealand are typically required to undergo a quarantine period to ensure they are free from contagious diseases. The length of the quarantine period can vary depending on the country of origin and the health status of the horse.

  2. Pre-Import Testing: Horses may need to undergo specific health tests before being allowed entry into New Zealand. These tests may include screening for infectious diseases, such as equine influenza, equine viral arteritis, or piroplasmosis.

  3. Documentation and Health Certificates: Proper documentation and health certificates are essential for the importation process. Horses must have accurate and complete paperwork, including an import permit, health declaration, and proof of vaccinations.

  4. Shipping and Transport Regulations: Importing horses involves complying with regulations regarding shipping and transport. This includes adhering to guidelines for safe transportation, such as using approved carriers, ensuring proper stabling and ventilation during transit, and meeting specific biosecurity requirements during the journey.

  5. Biosecurity Inspections and Testing: Upon arrival in New Zealand, horses are subject to biosecurity inspections to detect any potential risks. This may involve physical examination, testing, and screening for parasites, diseases, or prohibited substances.

  6. Cost: Importing horses to New Zealand can be costly due to various fees and expenses associated with quarantine, transport, veterinary services, and compliance with import regulations. Importers need to consider these financial aspects when planning to bring horses into the country.

It's important to note that the specific requirements and procedures for importing horses can vary depending on the country of origin and the individual circumstances. It is advisable to consult with the relevant government agencies, such as the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI) in New Zealand, and work closely with an experienced equine shipping agent or import specialist to navigate the importation process smoothly and ensure compliance with all requirements.

One of the challenges our existing breeds face in New Zealand is a lack of appreciation. If you are considering importing a brand new breed

  1. Supporting Local Breeders and Economy: By engaging in promoting and raising interest in breeds already present in New Zealand, we can provide support to local breeders, trainers, and equestrian businesses. Encouraging the demand for these breeds contributes to the growth and sustainability of the domestic equine industry, benefiting the overall economy and creating a stronger market for local horse enthusiasts.

  2. Showcasing Unique Qualities: The Morgan Horse, Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso, and other existing breeds in New Zealand possess distinct qualities, gaits, and abilities. By promoting these characteristics and educating potential buyers, we can highlight the benefits of owning and riding these horses. This focus can create a niche market and increased appreciation for the unique qualities of these breeds.

  3. Preventing Oversupply and Neglect: By directing attention and resources toward promoting existing breeds, we can avoid potential oversupply and reduce the risk of horses becoming unwanted or neglected. Raising awareness of the value and potential of these breeds encourages responsible breeding and ensures that the available horses find suitable homes and caring owners.

  4. Enhancing Genetic Diversity: Even within the existing horse breeds in New Zealand, there is often untapped genetic diversity that can be harnessed and explored. By encouraging responsible breeding practices and utilizing diverse bloodlines within these established breeds, we can enhance the overall quality, health, and performance potential of the local horse population.

  5. Strengthening the Market: Establishing a strong market for existing breeds ensures that they have a promising future in New Zealand. By actively engaging in promoting and raising interest in these breeds, we create opportunities for local enthusiasts to discover the unique joys and benefits of owning these horses. This strengthens the overall market, making it more sustainable for breeders and encouraging further investment in these breeds.

In summary, it is crucial for horse enthusiasts in New Zealand to consider promoting and raising interest in the breeds that already reside in the country. By recognizing the value and qualities of the Morgan Horse, Paso Fino, Peruvian Paso, and other existing breeds, we can support local breeders, enhance genetic diversity, and create a vibrant and thriving equine community that appreciates the diverse range of horses available.