Exporting Kunekunes

Exporting Kunekunes

From time to time breeders may be contacted by people from overseas interested in buying Kunekunes.

Unfortunately the export of pigs from NZ is rather complicated by the limited options for shipping pigs overseas. Exports in the past to the UK and USA went by air freight, but unfortunately changes to the air freight routes now mean that exports to those countries are not possible.

Below is a copy of the website address for the Ministry for Primary Industries (MPI), the government department that sets the standards for exports.


For animals to be exported, the export must be managed by a registered NZ exporter.

To be able to export to a particular country, there needs to be a negotiated export certificate in place. At present there is only one export certificate available, and that is for pigs to the USA.

If there was interest in developing an export certificate to a new country, there is a cost involved to cover the time taken to negotiate and issue the export certificate.

Most countries require livestock to be tested and undergo some sort of quarantine before leaving NZ, with the animals being checked a number of times by an accredited veterinarian. All this adds to the cost of preparing the animals for export.

There are a number of countries that will not allow imports of live pigs, and unfortunately Australia is one of those countries. As most of the livestock air freight routes now transit via Australia, because Australia won’t allow pigs to be imported they also won’t allow pigs to transit via Australia, even if it is just for refuelling the plane and the pigs stay on board the whole time.

So while it is in theory possible to export kunekunes from NZ, at present there is only the one export certificate available, and that one can’t be used at the moment as air freight planes to the USA transit via Australia.

Further information can be obtained by contacting the Animal Exports team at MPI: