South African Government

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Import animals for specific purposes

What you should do
How long does it take
How much does it cost
Forms to complete
Who to contact



About applying for a permit for temporary import or export of an animal for specific purposes

If you want to import or export animals temporarily into or  out of South Africa for specific purposes such as shows, exhibitions, competitions and stud mating or veterinary services, you must apply for and be granted an animal improvement permit from the Registrar of Animal Improvement.

You must also apply for a veterinary import permit from the Directorate Animal Health and a veterinary health certificate from the exporting country.

You must apply 30 days before you import or export. 

What you should do

  1. Complete the application form: Application to import/export animals for certain purposes.
  2. If temporarily importing an animal for stud mating or veterinary services purposes, you must have a certificate from a recognised registrar in the country from which you intend to import the animal. The certificate must indicate the DNA, blood type of the animal and the animal profile.
  3. You should provide a recommendation from the relevant South African breeders’ society specifically for landrace breeds.
  4. Pay the prescribed fee by electronic fund transfer (EFT), cheque or postal order to:
    The Director General: Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
    Bank: Standard Bank
    Branch: Arcadia
    Account No: 011219556
    Branch code: 000845/ 010845.
  5. Payments can also be made at the offices of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries listed under contact details.
  6. Ensure you obtain a receipt of payment as no application will be processed without proof of payment.
  7. Reference must be your name and surname. In cases where you are applying on behalf of someone else, please make sure that you pay in the name of that person or the company’s name.
  8. You are responsible for bank charges as well as the foreign bank charges. The Department will not issue a permit if the full fee is not received.
  9. Send the form and proof of payment to:
    The Registrar of Animal Improvement
    Private Bag X138
    South Africa
    or fax it to 012 319 7570/7425.
  10. Following receipt of the completed application form and proof of payment, an animal improvement permit will be issued and given to the Director: Animal Health for a veterinary import permit to be issued.
  11. After applying for an animal improvement import permit, you must apply for a veterinary import permit  from the Director: Animal health. For enquiries regarding a veterinary import permit please phone 012 319 7514.
  12. You have to present both the original permits to the veterinary officials at the port of entry together with a veterinary health certificate from the exporting country.

Note: Incomplete applications will be returned to the applicant and no responsibility for any inconvenience will be accepted.

How long does it take

It will take 30 days to process your application.

How much does it cost


Forms to complete

Application to import/export animals for certain purposes 

Who to contact


Directorate Animal Production
Tel: 012 319 7424 / 012 319 7576 / 012 319 7590 / 012 319 7429 / 012 319 7434 / 012 319 7486
Fax: 012 319 7570/7425
Physical address: Delpen Building, Cnr Annie Botha Avenue and Union Street, Riviera, Pretoria
Postal address: The Registrar of Animal improvement Private Bag X138, Pretoria, 0001