Native animals as pets

In NSW you need a licence to keep most native animals as pets.

Are you aware of upcoming changes to wildlife licensing?

The Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 commenced on 25 August 2017.

Existing wildlife licence classes, conditions and fees will remain in place after the Act begins.

Proposed changes to wildlife licensing under the new Act will be exhibited for public comment in the second half of 2017. These changes are expected to be taken up during 2018.

Learn more about the wildlife licensing reforms.

Not all native animals can be kept as pets, but some species which have been bred in captivity can be kept. None of these animals may be caught in the wild.

For most native animals you require a biodiversity conservation licence under Part 2 of the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016 to keep them as pets. You must obtain your licence before you start keeping any native animals as a pet.

Some native birds, like budgerigars, can be kept without a licence.

Licences help us protect and maintain healthy native animal populations and make sure pet owners have enough experience to safely care for their animals. You must be at least 16 years old to hold a licence.

Before you apply for a licence, you’ll need to decide what animal you want to keep.

The most common native animals kept as pets are snakes, lizards, frogs and birds.

See the NSW Native Animal Keepers' Species List (PDF 956KB) to find out which native animal you can keep as a pet.

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