Biosecurity officials have been criticised by dog importers
for apparently giving Australian greyhound owners an easier
ride on proposed new rules for dog and cat imports.
The new rules have been stalled by a jack russell terrier
owner who wants easier access for the dogs they regularly fly
backwards and forwards between New Zealand and Hawaii.
But other owners have criticised the requirement for dogs
coming from Britain and the Irish Republic to undergo a 10
day quarantine, when most Australian dogs will be allowed in
without any quarantine at all.
"To give Australia special privileges because of trade
relations ... is totally hypocritical," complained Thelma
Morrell, of Ohau, near Levin. "Either include them or give
the previously exempt countries their status back".
She suggested that MAF use an idea canvassed in August last
year, of axing quarantine requirement altogether for
"least-risk" countries, and instead require topical
treatments for fleas and lice, and an oral treatment, Proban,
But MAF responded that while one product, Frontline, had been
the specified treatment for external parasites in some of cat
and dog import standards, it had been recommended by
parasitologists that treatment should not be limited to one
product because of the potential for parasites to acquire
"Unfortunately many sources state that Proban should not be
used on greyhounds due to potential toxicity," MAF said. "As
a large percentage of dogs imported from Australia are racing
greyhounds, MAF cannot require use of this product."
Greyhound Racing New Zealand said that between 600-700
greyhounds were imported from Australia each year, without
any requirement for a permit, or post-arrival quarantine.
But Denise Clark, of the Shado-Lans dog quarantine site near
Levin, said imported dogs should actually have to be
quarantined for 21 days to allow for adequate checks of
whether they were carrying ticks.
One of the worst species, the "brown dog tick"
(scientifically known as Rhipicephalus sanguineus) could take
up to three weeks to feed and swell up from a "pinhead" to a
size where it was easily detected. These ticks could spread
Lyme disease, which was potentially fatal in humans.
She said 10 days was an unacceptably short period of time for
tick inspections, when existing regulations required 30 days
quarantine for dogs from many countries: long enough to
A fully blood-fed female brown dog tick can lay up to 5000
eggs, and if the brown dog tick was allowed to establish in
New Zealand then there could not only be effects on pets and
the human victims of tick bites, but also on the wider