Hundreds of pets are coming through the border each month, serving their time in quarantine like their humans, but without having to take a compulsory Covid-19 test.
Most recent figures from July show 518 cats and dogs were imported to New Zealand, just below the figure from a year earlier.
The animals have to be tested and given vaccines in their country of origin, before staying in a quarantine facility for 10 days after arriving in New Zealand.
Animals sent from Australia do not have to do 10 days of quarantine.
Ministry for Primary Industries animal health manager Stephen Cobb said pets underwent a number of tests, but Covid-19 testing was not required.
“The overwhelming balance of evidence is that companion animals, dogs and cats, don’t play any significant role in the spread of Covid to people,” Cobb said.
“This was quite a discussion during the early days of the lockdown, earlier in the year.”
While the pets didd not get the five-star hotel treatment of people who were entering the country, they got a good level of care in what were essentially kennels, Cobb said.
There were three quarantine facilities in Auckland, and one in Christchurch.