Pet Travel Question: Are there Quarantine Requirements for South Africa or the UK?

Name: Marisa
Number of Pets: 1
Pet Type: Small Dog
From: New Zealand
To: South Africa or UK


I want to get a small dog, but am considering moving to either South Africa or the UK within the next two years. Before I make the commitment of getting a dog, I need to find out how my future plans would impact on my pet. Do all pets need to go into quarantine? Are there exceptions? Not certain I would like to leave a pet in quarantine for extended period if I move.

Thanks for any advice,



Hi Marisa,

These are important considerations, as quarantine periods can be stressful for owners and animals. Check out the pet import requirements for South Africa. You'll notice that there are currently no quarantine requirements for pets entering South Africa. This document from the South African Department of Agriculture confirms that dogs traveling from New Zealand need not be quarantined upon arrival in South Africa.

Likewise, if you take a look at the pet import requirements for the United Kingdom, you'll see that there is no quarantine requirement at this time for pets traveling from “listed countries” (such as New Zealand).

Your future dog shouldn't have to go through quarantine when he travels to one of those countries with you, but he will need to meet all the requirements imposed by those nations. Luckily, you're doing your research well in advance, so there shouldn't be many surprises when it comes time to move with your pet. If you have any more questions about pet transport, feel free to contact us. Thanks for your question and good luck with everything!


PetRelocation Team




UK, South Africa


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By Brenda on August 27, 2018 at 5:37 am

It doesn't matter what logistics company you have. They will just state that they have to abide by the quarantine and vet laws.Therefore, if you have a pet and they decide to keep it there is absolutely nothing you can do. My dog tested as negative for a harmless bacteria before he was shipped to SA. When he got there they retested and the test came up not positive but not negative. I implored our relocation people to help facilitate or help in any manner and they refused, saying it was all in the hands of the gov't and vet facilities.Fast forward 5 months later my dog was still in quarantine, still not testing positive but not negative. Vets refused to give the 3 day treatment of antibiotics stating they must travel back to the country or origin for the antibiotics. Meanwhile my dog was tested every week and treated like a lab animal until I got my lawyers onto it. Cost a fortune but I finally got him shipped home.I would never, ever subject my animal to the amount of tests and bureaucracy demanded by the SA gov't. My understanding is that this is quite normal and has happened to most people shipping their animals.In the meantime you are paying a fortune for repeated blood work, testing and housing. No other country in the world does this, not even the worst developing country.

By Robert Andrews on July 16, 2018 at 2:34 pm

I shipped my dogs from the US to South Africa and would never do it again!!First, the dogs must be put through an entire storm of blood tests, health checks, shipping manifests, inoculations, etc. It all then has to be overnighted to SA. Then you have to wait for them to give you the go ahead. They wait until the very last second, giving you only hours to prepare, plan, make reservations and fly your dogs out. Plus, the timing is critical. They must be shipped on a Sunday to get there Monday or they will stay in quarantine for an additional week due to weird logistics.They also must arrive within the week of the blood test approval by the vets in SA. However, since they wait to let you know until the permit is nearly expired it makes for one of the more stressful, frustrating experiences you will ever have in your life.Second, they have to stay in quarantine for two weeks.Third, you will receive a call from someone in the receiving dept when your dogs arrive who does NOT speak English. Several people from the airline will call you then hang up then repeatedly call you back causing a mass of confusion, delay, anguish and frustration. It's a fricken circus!!! YES, they will do this even if you have a transport company doing it for you because you have to have your phone number on the bill of address and contact information. It cannot be your logistics company as a point of contact when they land!You will then be contacted by various people who will state your pet will be banned from the country because the documents are not correct. This takes days to sort out, always with the same result - Oh, they actually were the right documents. Sorry we wasted 4 days harassing and and threatening you and your animal and that your animal has to stay another week in quarantine because of this delay and oh year, more money for additional boarding too. --- All this and we had a fantastic transport company as well but even they could only do so much.Fourth, you will have to pay out huge fees for a transport company to deal with all the convoluted and massive amounts of paperwork, flight, cargo and health details. You cannot do this yourself. Even logistics companies are at their wits end and many will simply not work with the South Africans due to the massive amount of arbitrary tests and information they demand.Fifth, be prepared for your dog to test positive for some completely obscure and treatable problem, such as a hormone imbalance, and have the tests redone several times while the lab and quarantine fees add up exponentially and your animals languish in quarantine hell.Much of it is about generating as much revenue as possible from you, some of it sheer incompetence.Lastly, be prepared, even if you hire a company to manage the whole thing for you, to be left completely in the dark by the vets, airports, gov't, etc. They will tell you that they need to keep your animal for additional days but will not tell you why or for how long. You operate in the dark all the time. It's intolerable. It's sadly obvious that the brain drain in this country is a reality.There is no way I would ever go there or bring my animals there again, even though I enjoy the beauty of the country. Nothing is worth the bureaucratic, money grabbing nightmare created by the South Africans.

By Maegan at PetRelocation on July 20, 2018 at 12:21 pm

Hi Robert!

Thanks for your feedback regarding your experience moving your pets to South Africa. Your experience is not uncommon as the requirements for moving your pets to South Africa are quite intense! Luckily we have a team here in the office that specializes in these types of relocations. When done correctly by a company, the experience is much less stressful.

Each of our moves are customized to fit the needs of our clients and their pets. When using our services, you will have a dedicated point of contact liaising with government offices, veterinarians, customs brokers, and the airlines. This, in addition completing all the paperwork and facilitating the actual transportation, ensures that your pet¹s relocation is professionally complete with their welfare as the primary concern. By hiring our company to manage the pet relocation, we allow our clients to focus on their own travel needs.

We appreciate you sharing your experience and please let us know if we can help in the future!

By steve bullen on April 4, 2017 at 10:26 am

what are the quarantine laws from south Africa to the UK. Both my dogs are vaccinated and chipped.

By on April 4, 2017 at 11:26 am

Hi Steve, Here is a great resource to help you on your way: If you have questions after reviewing this official information or if you think you'd like some help arranging your move, feel free to contact us for a consultation: Hope this helps!

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