22 Nov 2023

Bio security cat-tastrophe avoided after pet discovered on cruise

From Checkpoint, 5:49 pm on 22 November 2023

A potential bio security cat-tastrophe has been avoided after a pet moggie was busted on a cruise ship travelling around Aotearoa. 

The American cat was apparently spirited onto the Ovation of the Seas and was discovered in a passenger's cabin when the ship arrived into Wellington at the end of October. 

Biosecurity NZ were on the ship completing a routine inspection when they found the cat. 
Diane McDermott from Biosecurity NZ said the officers "attended appropriately and as quickly as possible."

The cat was "bonded" to the ship's captain, meaning it was officially in the captain's care.

The captain was then responsible for keeping the moggie on board. 


File photo. Photo: Pixabay / Geraldine Rose

The cat is now quarantined in Christchurch. 

McDermott said the cat will effectively be deported and all at the expense of the cruise company, Royal Caribbean.

"The cruise liner itself has offered to fly the cat back to its origin from New Zealand."

"We don't know if that was the intention, but if they (the passenger) wished to take the cat from the ship they would need to declare the animal and they would also need to have a permit for the animal."